An atomic clock, ‘green’ propellant, and a sunlight-surfing sail are headed to space next week

On Monday, SpaceX is set to launch the third flight of its most powerful rocket, the Falcon Heavy. And this time, it’s carrying a host of new technologies into space, ranging from a new type of atomic clock to a thin sail that moves on sunlight. If they can survive the harsh environment of Earth’s orbit, then these new technologies could evolve into valuable tools for future space missions.

A combination of 24 satellites will fly to space on this mission, assembled from the Department of Defense, NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and universities. Getting all of these satellites to their intended orbits won’t be easy. The…

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