There were a number of launches to the moon by space agencies and private companies at the beginning of the year. They haven't gotten off the launch pad yet.
The first moonshot of the year is scheduled to launch on Tuesday. Private companies are running the small spaceship, which is funded by NASA. This is what you need to know.
The coverage of the launch will start at 5 a.m. The time is on NASA television. The rocket needs to launch at an exact moment, 5:55 a.m., so that the spaceship can be lofted to the correct altitude.
There are more chances each day if there is a technical problem or weather.
Cislunar is the name of the mission and it is about technology. A crewed space station is part of NASA's program to return astronauts to the moon.
Gateway will be a way station where future crews will stop before going to the moon. It was decided by NASA that the best place to put this outpost would be in a near-recti linear halo.
The Earth and the moon are influenced by the gravity of each other. The influence of the two bodies helps keep the moon's elliptical shape.
The distance from Earth to the line-of-sight view is about 90 degrees. The near-recti linear part of the name is what this is. Communication would be cut off behind the moon if a vehicle in this circle passed behind it.
As Gateway goes over the South Pole, it will travel within 2,200 miles of the moon's North Pole. It will take about a week to go around the moon.
This is the first time that a spaceship has traveled in this area. Data will be provided to NASA by CAPSTONE to confirm its models for operating Gateway outpost.
NASA won't operate CAPSTONE. Advanced Space is just outside of Denver and has 45 employees. Terran Orbital sold the 55 pound satellite to Advanced Space.
It is being launched by a U.S.- New Zealand company called Rocket Lab, which is a leader in delivering small payloads to space. There is a launch site for the company in New Zealand.
About $20 million was spent by NASA for Advanced Space to build and operate the craft as well as $10 million for the rocket lab's launch vehicle.