Shooting for the Moon

The dreams and fascinations of a human being are not easy to get a grip around. We can pick so many individuals from the history that dedicated their lives to a particular cause just because they felt a connection with it, connection that seemed almost unjustified to others. Some of these lifelong pursuits did deliver the expected results, but some also deflated into inexistence before they could even take off. Nevertheless, the lack of guaranteed reward for such devotion hasn’t stopped us from treading this path. If anything has changed, it’s the way we go about these quests. Ever since technology got into the picture, our points of fascination have changed slightly. With a thing like this in our hands, it only felt right to dig beneath the surface and see what all it was capable of doing. This ended up resulting in a whole host of other creations, which walked an extra yard to give our life a different meaning. Even though the areas in which it moved the needle were sizeable in number, one that sticks out easily has to be space travel.

The idea of space travel has kept us enticed for decades now. Billion dollars have been invested so far to make space more accessible to general public. Organizations like NASA, SpaceX, and Blue Origin have led this charge and one of the biggest agendas for them to this date has been expanding moon exploration. When journeys to moon were unofficially put on hold, everyone thought that the years of effort to find life on moon was for nothing, but in reality, NASA did so because they had a bigger plan. This plan will now enter its first phase of execution when NASA launches its CAPSTONE project in October.

Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation a.k.a CAPSTONE is a cubesat that will soon be sent into space with an objective to test and verify orbital stability of a near rectilinear halo orbit around the moon. To give you some context, it’s the same orbit scripted for NASA’s Lunar Gateway, a small space station mapped out with an aim to help astronauts access the lunar surface.

CAPSTONE, reportedly as big as a microwave oven, was essentially conceived to diminish the risk factor involved in spacecraft expeditions around moon. It is intentioned to do so by validating navigation technologies and confirming the notions of the halo-shaped orbit. As per the estimations made by NASA, the cubesat will take upto 3 months to reach its destination. Once it has reached, it will orbit around the moon for at least 6 months to gain proper stock of the situation.

Nonetheless, the purpose of this project isn’t just to bolster the size of space exploration projects but also to make them more universal, hence allowing a collective effort towards realizing the space dream.



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