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NASA is Sending an Atomic Clock Into Deep Space

An anonymous reader shares a report: On Saturday, June 22, SpaceX plans to launch its Falcon Heavy Rocket out of the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The reusable craft is coming off two successful flights; its maiden launch in early 2018 and a satellite delivery trip in April 2019. For its third adventure, the Falcon Heavy will ferry a trove of precious cargo up into space. Around two dozen satellites are going along for the ride this time. But the rocket’s most interesting passenger has to be the Orbital Test Bed satellite. Its main payload is an experimental, toaster-sized gizmo called the Deep Space Atomic Clock (DSAC). If the thing works properly, future missions to Mars, Jupiter and beyond could become a whole lot easier — and less expensive.


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