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  • ABC4 News Thursday, Dec. 01, 2022

    USU deep space radio makes history as it reaches moon's orbit

    LOGAN, Utah (ABC4) – A deep space radio built by Utah State University‘s Space Dynamics Laboratory (SDL) is now orbiting the moon as part of a first-of-its-kind program in human history.

    The radio is part of a NASA mission called the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment — or “CAPSTONE.” The USU-designed radio is onboard a class of small satellites called “CubeSat,” the first to orbit the moon in the history of humankind.NASA said CAPSTONE’s mission is to reduce risks for future spacecraft by validating new navigation technologies and gathering new knowledge about its own unique three-body orbit.

    The mission is part of NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to return humans to the moon, exploring more of the lunar surface than ever before. Humans last walked on the moon in 1972.

    USU’s deep space radio is now operating successfully onboard a NASA CubeSat technology demonstration mission to support Gateway, which is a vital component of Artemis. The Gateway Program is building a small, human-tended space station orbiting the Moon to provide support for Artemis.

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