NASA will send into orbit the moon the tiny satellite. What is it for?

Humanity has been exploring space for a very long time, but the real breakthrough in this case was made only in the second half of the twentieth century. It was then in space, was sent to the first people , and invented space stations that are orbiting our planet and provide the conditions astronauts for a long stay in space and conduct research. Now humanity needs to move on, so in 2020, the space Agency NASA will begin development of the station Gateway for travelers astronauts to orbit the moon. To ensure that the selected scholars safe lunar orbit for the station, its exploration will take 12 tiny satellites, called kobatama.

Cubesat developed by Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems

The study of the lunar orbit was named CAPSTONE and, if all goes according to plan, it will be launched in December 2020. Just this year, NASA will begin Assembly of the station Gateway that will help to make the first decades of landing men on the moon. After landing on the satellite of our planet, mankind will be able to build a station that will facilitate flights to other planets such as Mars.

They were launched outside the earth’s orbit

The development of cube-Sats, which represent cubes with 10 cm edges, will company Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems. They will be equipped with communication systems and sensors — space Agency wants to figure out how you want to display future station on the selected trajectory. They were launched on a assigned quite complex and important task, because they have to determine its location without relying on information from the Ground.

Be sure to read: How "they were launched" (CubeSat)?

Project management will be entrusted to Advanced Space, which, in particular, will study the navigation system cube-Sats. For his work, the company asked NASA as much as $ 13.7 million US. The navigation system, incidentally, is called CAPS — perhaps now everyone understands why the mission is called CAPSTONE and nothing else.

The trajectory of the space station Gateway

Orbit, which will move the space station Gateway is an especially elongated oval — clearly the trajectory of the constructions shown in the picture below. Satellites the size of a microwave will move in a similar trajectory. According to calculations of scientists, in the nearest to the moon point devices will be only 1600 kilometers from its surface. Moving away, the tiny satellites will fly from the moon to a distance of 70 million kilometers.

Orbit space station Gateway

Exactly how they were launched CAPSTONE will be sent to the moon, yet no one knows. Most likely, they will all be running at the same time, in the form of extra cargo sent into orbit in the larger missions. For example, the Agency may bring them into sending food and research equipment to the International space station.

By the way, the residential Gateway module already has a full-size prototype

Rather, NASA decided to investigate the trajectory of the space station Gateway with cube-Sats because of their ease of design and low cost. At the moment around our planet fly thousands of compact satellites, but beyond earth’s orbit they were launched out only once. These are the machines MarCO-MarCO A and-B, which went to Mars with the landing apparatus of InSight.

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