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NASA chooses SpaceX to deflect asteroid; stunning photos show Falcon Heavy launch

SpaceX will launch NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission.

SpaceX is celebrating several important events that occurred yesterday, successfully launching Falcon Heavy and securing a NASA contract to deflect an asteroid.

Images posted today show the Falcon Heavy launch in greater detail as it lofted the Arabsat-6A satellite into orbit. All three boosters landed, while the payload fairings were recovered undamaged from the ocean.

Coinciding with the Arabsat launch, NASA announced that SpaceX had been picked to launch the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission, which will crash a spacecraft into an asteroid in an attempt to change its orbit. The test will involve a single Falcon 9 rocket launched in 2021.

NASA also highlighted some of its gear that will be on the next Falcon Heavy launch including a pair of CubeSats, a safer 'green' propellant, and the Deep Space Atomic Clock that will only drift by a single second every nine million years.

"We are pleased with the success of yesterday's Falcon Heavy launch and first-stage landings," said Jim Reuter, acting associate administrator of NASA's Space Tech Mission Directorate. "We have important technologies that are ready to fly, and this success helps put us on that path."

#FalconHeavy soars; #SpaceX lands critical #asteroid deflection mission launch contract from #NASA.

To say SpaceX had a banner day Thursday is an understatement. Read about the company's stellar success with a launch & #DART contract procurement.
ARTICLE: https://t.co/8lG0sEiLZ9 pic.twitter.com/KlYteWLYEn

-- Chris G - NSF (@ChrisG_NSF) April 12, 2019

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