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Watch SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket launch a $1 billion asteroid mission for NASA

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SpaceX’s highly effective Falcon Heavy rocket is about to launch on Friday morning, flying a NASA mission certain for a distant asteroid.

Focusing on the asteroid Psyche, the eponymous NASA mission goals to fly a spacecraft – in regards to the width of a tennis courtroom – on a journey of just about six years and about 2.2 billion miles, arriving on the planetary physique in July 2029.

The launch is scheduled for liftoff at 10:19 a.m. ET from NASA’s Kennedy House Heart in Florida. If postponed for climate or technical causes, SpaceX has backup launch alternatives within the coming days.

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NASA needs to check the composition of the asteroid, which the company describes as “an uncommon object doubtless wealthy in steel.” The Psyche spacecraft is armed with a wide range of scientific instruments, akin to devices for learning the asteroid’s magnetic discipline and chemical make up.

The company expects to spend about $1.2 billion on the Psyche mission, together with the prices of growth and operations. Of that complete value, NASA awarded SpaceX a contract of about $131 million to launch the mission.

The mission is SpaceX’s eighth launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket. The corporate plans to land and get well the rocket’s pair of aspect boosters, however the central core of the rocket might be expended.

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