NASA will send into orbit the Moon tiny satellite. What is it for?
Mankind is engaged in the exploration of space with a very long time, but the real breakthrough in this regard was made in the second half of the XX century. It was then that the first humans into space and invented space stations were sent, that orbit our planet and provide astronauts conditions for long stays in space and research. mankind must now move forward, so in the 2020 NASA Space Agency will begin the development of Gateway Station astronauts to stay on the orbit of the Moon. To ensure that the selected scholars lunar orbit is safe for the station, it will be engaged in the exploration of 12 tiny satellites called kubsatami.
Kubsat developed by Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems
The study lunar orbit received CAPSTONE name and, if all goes according to plan, it will be launched in December 2020. Just in the same year, NASA will begin assembly Gateway station, which will help to make the first in decades landing men on the moon. After landing on the moon of our planet, mankind will be able to build on it a station that will facilitate flights to other planets such as Mars.
Kubsaty will go beyond Earth orbit
Developing kubsatov which constitute the cubic blocks with a 10-centimeter ribs company will Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems. They will be equipped with communication systems and sensors distance - space agency wants to find out how you want to display a future station on the chosen path. On kubsaty lies quite difficult and important task, because they will have to determine its location without relying on information from the Earth.
Read necessarily: How are "kubsaty" (CubeSat)?
Project management will be entrusted to the company's Advanced Space, which, in particular, will study kubsatov navigation system. For his work, the company has asked NASA as much as 13, 7 million USD. Navigation system, incidentally, is called CAPS - probably now everyone understands why the mission is called the CAPSTONE and nothing else.
The trajectory of the space station traffic Gateway
The orbit by which space will move Gateway station, is a particularly elongated oval - graphically trajectory of structures shown in the picture below. The satellites are the size of a microwave oven will move in a similar trajectory. Scientists have calculated that in the nearest point to the moon sets will be only 1600 kilometers from the surface. Moving away, tiny satellites would fly by the moon at a distance of 70,000 kilometers.
The orbit of the space station Gateway
Exactly how kubsaty CAPSTONE will be sent to the Moon, while nobody knows. Most likely, they will all be launched simultaneously in the form of additional cargo to be sent into orbit as part of a large-scale missions. For example, the agency can bring them in sending food and research equipment to the International Space Station.
By the way, the housing module Gateway already has a full-size prototype
Most likely, NASA has decided to explore the trajectory of the orbital station Gateway using kubsatov due to their ease of development and cheapness. At the moment, around the planet fly thousands of compact satellite, but beyond Earth orbit kubsaty out only once. These are devices MarCO-A and MarCO-B, who went on Mars with the planting apparatus InSight.