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SpaceX Falcon Heavy carried NASA’s Deep Space Atomic Clock and human remains

The third launch of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy , today June 25, featured a variety of payloads from science experiments, satellites and the remains of 152 individuals which have been installed on a small satellite slated to orbit the Earth for 25 years.

The cost advertised for the trip to space, dubbed the Heritage Flight,is $4,995 a person. Celestis company, which partenered with NASA for this goal, did send the remains of one person to the moon in 1998. It worked with friends of planetary geologist Eugene Shoemaker to place some of his remains on the NASA Lunar Prospector, which launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Jan. 6, 1998 and made impact on the moon on July 31, 1999. This SpaceX mission had another important goal: NASA’s Deep Space Atomic Clock has been launched.

Deep-Space-Atomic-Clock
Deep Space Atomic Clock - artist vision

NASA said in a statement: “This new atomic clock will make spacecraft navigation to distant objects in space, on the journey to Mars, for example, more autonomous. It will make a huge improvement to how spacecraft are currently navigated.” In other words, scientists hope the Deep Space Atomic Clock will allow spacecraft travelling in deep space to act on their own, without much communication with Earth.It would take 10 million years for NASA’s atomic clock to be wrong by a whole second.

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