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NASA CubeSat will test the orbit of the lunar space station

"CAPSTONE offers a lot in a small package," Bradley Cheetham, CEO of Advance Space, said in a press release.

Along with configuring the orbital path, CubeSat will test new navigation technologies, which will allow future missions to find their location without having to rely on earth tracking. CAPSTONE will also help the team respond to how small dedicated launches to the moon will work, once there are astronauts on the Gateway.

CAPSTONE is only about the size of a small microwave oven. It takes about three months to reach its target path. From there, it will begin a six-month demonstration phase. During this time, the team will understand how CubeSat will work in orbit.

Gateway will be a NASA-built spaceship that will act almost like a traveler's outpost and orbit the moon. The space agency hopes to have astronauts living at the small space station for up to three months, giving them a place to conduct experiments and travel to the lunar surface in a short period of time. This will also serve as a checkpoint for astronauts, their first stop from Earth to the Moon. As they approach the lunar surface, they must stop at the Gateway first.

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