Nasa to launch Moon rocket mission THIS weekend – how to watch
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NASA has slated early next week for an epic rocket launch carrying a special payload.

The rocket will bring a small probe designed to lay the groundwork for a future lunar space station.

The Moon is about 240,000 miles away from Earth


The Moon is about 240,000 miles away from EarthCredit: Getty Images – Getty

The Nasa team says they will prepare for launch no earlier than 6:00AM Eastern Standard Time on June 27.

The rocket will launch from New Zealand and stream live on YouTube.

Interested viewers can set alerts for the launch by visiting the live stream page and toggling on notifications.

On board the rocket is the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE), a 55-pound spacecraft set to test a unique, crown-shaped orbit path.

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Rocket Lab, one of the manufacturers, published a mission overview guide that says CAPSTONE will first settle into lower Earth orbit while affixed to a larger spacecraft.

For five days, the spacecraft will incrementally increase the size of its orbit around the Earth before ejecting the CAPSTONE on course for a four-month journey to the Moon.

“The spacecraft will orbit between the gravities of the Earth and the Moon in a precisely balanced dance,” Nasa said in a video promoting CAPSTONE.

“This orbit will be home for Nasa’s Gateway: the future space outpost that will support visiting astronauts on their way to the Moon and beyond.”

Gateway is one of Nasa’s most ambitious projects to date and a key component in the mission to bring humans back to the Moon.

CAPSTONE will circulate the orbit for six months, collecting data on its intricacies and determining if it’s a good fit for the permanent lunar space station.

“CAPSTONE’s flight will demonstrate how this unique lunar orbit can support future spacecraft around the moon, helping to launch a new era of human space exploration,” Nasa’s video concluded.

The CAPSTONE probe will also test a new navigation technology that allows spacecraft to geolocate themselves without communicating with ground control on Earth.

The research will make fundamental contributions to the future success of the Artemis space program.

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