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The unmanned, Earth-orbiting satellite is designed to test two of Einstein's predictions about the nature of space and time, and how the Earth and other bodies warp and twist the fabric that combines the two.
At the spacecraft's heart are four pingpong-sized balls of quartz, the most perfect spheres ever made. To ensure accuracy, the balls must be kept chilled to near absolute zero, in the vacuum of the largest thermos ever flown in space, and isolated from any disturbances in the quietest environment ever produced, said Anne Kinney, director of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's division of astronomy and physics.
Once in space and set spinning, the orientation of the balls should change unless Einstein was wrong.