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LAUNCH OF NASA’S CAPSTONE LUNAR CUBESAT, June 28, 2022 UTC, New Zealand, 5:55 am ET

Update, June 27:  NASA now says it will launch tomorrow, June 28, at 5:55 am ET.

Update, June 26:  NASA just announced yet another postponement. It said the next opportunity is Tuesday, June 28, but it is not clear if they are actually targeting that as the launch date.  There are launch opportunities every day through July 27. We will update this entry whenever we get more news.

Update, June 25: Rocket Lab says it will webcast the launch starting 45 minutes before liftoff: rocketlabusa.com/live-stream

Update, June 23:  NASA says the instantaneous launch window is at 6:00 am EDT (not 5:50 am) and NASA TV coverage will begin at 5:00 am ET.

Update, June 22: The launch has been delayed again, to June 27.  The launch window runs through July 27 and according to NASA and Rocket Lab, the cubesat will reach the Moon on November 13 no matter what date it launches within that window.

If the launch is on June 27, the launch time in various time zones is as follows per Rocket Lab:

  • UTC 09:50 (June 27)
  • NZST 21:50 (June 27)
  • EDT 05:50 (June 27)
  • PDT 02:50 (June 27)

Update, June 14:  The new launch date is June 25.

Update, June 8: The mission has been delayed again. NASA says “the software is being updated” and a “revised schedule will be provided as soon as possible.”

Update, May 31: The launch has been postponed until June 13 UTC. The launch time was not announced and could be June 12 EDT. Launch is from New Zealand. New Zealand Daylight Time is 12 hours ahead of UTC and 16 hours ahead of EDT.

Original Entry: NASA’s “Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment” or CAPSTONE mission is currently scheduled for launch on June 6, 2022 by Rocket Lab from Launch Complex 1 on the Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand.

A NASA spokesperson told SpacePolicyOnline.com on May 24 that the launch time on June 6 is “9:20 UTC, so 9:20pm in New Zealand, 5:20am EDT, and 2:20am PDT.” The launch window extends to June 22.

CAPSTONE is a cubesat about the size of a microwave oven that will be launched into a special orbit around the Moon —  a Near Rectilinear Halo Orbit — that NASA will use for its Gateway space station for the Artemis program. It will validate innovative navigation technologies and verify orbital dynamics.


June 28
5:00 am - 11:00 pm