How NASA’s portable atomic clock could revolutionize space travel

A prototype timepiece will spend a year orbiting the Earth as scientists monitor its performance

Deep Space Atomic Clock illustration

TIMING IS EVERYTHING  NASA’s Deep Space Atomic Clock (illustrated with the spacecraft that will carry it) is set to launch for a yearlong test flight in low-Earth orbit. The timepiece could one day enable self-driving spacecraft and GPS-like systems on other worlds.


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