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how nasa’s portable atomic clock could revolutionize space travel
Scientists imagine themselves
Flying a spaceship and GPS carrying astronauts through space
It\'s like a system that guides visitors through other planets and satellite terrain.
But for future navigation plans, ships and satellites need to be equipped with precise clocks.
More accurate than any clock sent to space.
The prototype of the clock is scheduled to be launched on June 24 for flight testing.
NASA\'s Deep Space Atomic Clock, DSAC for short, uses a scale that is 50 times more uniform than the atomic clock on a GPS satellite to calculate seconds.
Comparable to the ground-
Atomic clocks for the Deep Space Network of the agency-
Cadres who use radio antennas to communicate with Earth-bound facilities throughout the solar system\'s mission.
But not like those refrigerators.
Toaster, clock size-
DSAC is small enough to carry a spacecraft.
Equipped with future spaceships or satellites, this mini-atomic clock can \"revolutionize the way we travel through deep space in spaceships,\" said Jill Subert, deputy chief researcher at the project, said at a press conference on June 10.
After NASA launched the prototype at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
The researchers will be low
Earth orbit runs for one year.
Here is a preview of what the clock means for future space flight.
\"Every spacecraft exploring deep space today relies on navigation on Earth,\" said Seubert, based at NASA\'s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Earth-
Based on the antenna to send a signal to the spacecraft, the spacecraft will return the signal.
By measuring the circle of the signal
Travel time in one in ten million seconds, the ground-
The atomic clock based on the deep space network helps to accurately locate the position of the spacecraft.
With the new Deep Space Atomic Clock, \"we can transition to what we call one --
Follow all the way, \"said Seubert.
The spacecraft will use such a clock on board to measure the time it takes for the tracking signal to arrive from Earth without sending the signal back to the ground for measurement-
Based on atomic clocks.
This will allow the spacecraft to judge its trajectory.
Having a spacecraft capable of tracking its position will allow astronauts to pass through the solar system without requiring Earth indication.
\"In places like Mars, round-trip [Tracking signal
Todd Yili, lead researcher at the project, said: \"The time range is about 8 to 40 minutes . \" He also works at NASA\'s Jet Propulsion Lab.
\"In Jupiter, it may be . . . . . . An hour and a half.
Saturn, two and a half hours.
\"With a spacecraft capable of tracking itself, explorers can perform more flexible operations and respond faster to unexpected situations.
\"I\'m really excited in the long run . . . . . . Use the clock with other navigation instruments on board to create something similar to self
\"Driving a spaceship,\" Yili said.
\"Imagine the astronaut hiking on Mars, and maybe Olympus Monis is rising backstage, and she\'s looking at the Google Maps Mars edition to see where she is, seubert said at a news conference.
\"The concept is really the same as our GPS on Earth,\" a satellite constellation provides global coverage for the ground.
In other worlds, satellites will use airborne Deep Space Atomic clocks to broadcast signals with precise timestamps, which can be used by any GPS ground receiver to triangulate its position.
The new atomic clocks are timed using charged mercury atoms or ions, while clocks on GPS satellites on Earth currently use neutral rubidium atoms.
Since mercury atoms in the new clock have electric charges, they can be trapped in the electric field, preventing them from interacting with the walls of the container
Ely explained that the interaction in the GPS Atomic clock caused the rubidium atom to lose its rhythm.
The Earth\'s GPS satellite clock takes twice.
Daily corrections from the command center on earth.
However, the new atomic clock is much more reliable when ticking evenly, so it does not need to be corrected so frequently.
Ely said: \"If you have deep space atomic clocks, twice a day, it could turn into weeks if not months.
\"Scientists need to make sure the stability of the clock ticking remains the same in space.
\"Our goal is
Gains and losses of time
About two nanometers or less a day, \"Ely said.
\"We think we will be close to three --
Ten seconds a day.
\"The rehearsal space flight will also test the clock for a full year in space.
\"This will tell us how we can operate these clocks when they go to places that may take months, years or even ten years to arrive, for a longer period of time, seubert said.
Researchers are expected to share preliminary results later this year on the timing of the clock\'s hold in space.