Rocket Lab Wins NASA Lunar Mission

Long Beach-based Rocket Lab says it has scored a contract from NASA, to launch a payload to the moon. According to Rocket Lab, it will launch the CAPSTONE mission to the Moon from its launch complex in New Zealand, in Q4 of 2021, its first launch to the Moon. The NASA funded mission will place a 55 pound satellite into lunar orbit, as part of a mission by NASA to establish a long term presence on the Moon. Financial details of the win were not announced. CAPSTONE stands for the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment. Rocket Lab said the mission will help reduce risk for future spacecraft by validating innovative navigation technologies and verifying the dynamics of a halo-shaped orbit.