. 24/7 Space News .
New Instrument on ISS to Study Ultra-Cold Quantum Gases
by Tomasz Nowakowski for AstroWatch
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Oct 21, 2016

CAL is currently scheduled to be launched to ISS by SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket in June 2017.

A new science instrument, slated to be installed onboard the International Space Station (ISS) in late 2017, is expected to yield interesting results regarding quantum phenomena. The Cold Atom Laboratory, or CAL, will study degenerate quantum gases in the microgravity environment of the orbital outpost.

The compact, atom-chip based instrument will be capable of trapping such elements like Rubidium and Potassium and of producing degenerate gases of each species, after a few seconds of collection and cooling.

It will allow the scientists to create a state of matter called a Bose Einstein Condensate (BEC). This state can be achieved by cooling a gas of extremely low density, about one-hundred-thousandth the density of normal air, to ultra-low temperatures - lower than those that are created in laboratories on Earth.

"CAL is a multi-user facility to study ultra-cold atoms - below a billionth of a degree above absolute zero. Microgravity allows scientists to observe cold atoms floating unconfined for long periods of time allowing highly precise measurements of very weak forces," Rob Thompson, CAL Project Scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), told Astrowatch.net.

CAL is currently scheduled to be launched to ISS by SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket in June 2017. However, due to a recent launch pad explosion on Sept. 3, when both the Falcon 9 and the Amos-6 satellite were destroyed two days prior to scheduled liftoff, CAL's flight into space could be delayed. Moreover, it is also being considered that the instrument could be launched by Orbital ATK instead of SpaceX.

After the arrival of CAL at the ISS, it will be installed by astronauts into the EXpedite the PRocessing of Experiments to Space Station (EXPRESS) rack inside the station's Destiny module, that will provide standardized power, data, thermal, and mechanical interface to the new facility. Due to its size and power requirements, CAL will occupy a quad locker space in the rack.

"CAL will be installed into the ISS EXPRESS locker, where it takes up the equivalent of five lockers - a quad locker and a separate locker. Mass is around 452 lbs. (205 kilograms) for the quad locker and 137 lbs. (62 kilograms) for the single one," Thompson said.

Once installed, the instrument will be operated remotely from the ground via sequence control, thus there will be no need for further astronaut involvement.

The main goal of CAL is to study ultra-cold quantum gases in the microgravity environment. The instrument will investigate Rubidium and Potassium isotopes and interactions between mixtures of these isotopes.

The facility is designed for use by multiple scientific investigators and to be upgradable and also maintainable on orbit. CAL is also perceived as a pathfinder experiment for future quantum sensors based on laser cooled atoms.

"CAL will be making several exciting Principal Investigator-Led (PI-led) specific investigations, in such areas as tests of general relativity, the physics of few-body collisions, and studies of novel spherical quantum bubble geometry condensates," Thompson revealed.

"In addition, CAL will serve as a pathfinder for future experiments with cold atoms, which have great promise for both practical and research applications, such as tests of fundamental physics, searches for gravitational waves, better atomic clocks, space navigation, and monitoring effects of climate change," he added.

CAL's initial mission is expected to last one year, with a possible extension for further five years. Upgrades to the facility are also being considered. Additional features could include new laser modules, new electronic components, or a new physics package.

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only


Related Links
The Cold Atom Laboratory
Station at NASA
Station and More at Roscosmos
S.P. Korolev RSC Energia
Watch NASA TV via Space.TV
Space Station News at Space-Travel.Com

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
Hurricane Nicole delays next US cargo mission to space
Miami (AFP) Oct 11, 2016
The next US cargo supply trip to the International Space Station has been postponed until Sunday due to Hurricane Nicole, which is bearing down on Bermuda, NASA said Tuesday. Initially set for Thursday, Orbital ATK will now launch its unmanned Cygnus cargo ship no earlier than Sunday from Wallops Island, Virginia, the US space agency said. Nicole is expected to reach Bermuda on Thursday, ... read more

Spectacular Lunar Grazing Occultation of Bright Star on Oct. 18

Hunter's Supermoon to light up Saturday night sky

Small Impacts Are Reworking Lunar Soil Faster Than Scientists Thought

A facelift for the Moon every 81,000 years

Euro-Russian craft enters Mars orbit, but lander's fate unknown

Did Europe's Mars lander survive? Time will tell: ESA

What! - Go To Mars?

Modeling floods that formed canyons on Earth and Mars

Beaches, skiing and tai chi: Club Med, Chinese style

NASA begins tests to qualify Orion parachutes for mission with crew

New Zealand government open-minded on space collaboration

Growing Interest: Students Plant Seeds to Help NASA Farm in Space

Chinese astronauts reach orbiting lab: Xinhua

Astronauts enjoy range of delicacies on Shenzhou XI

China to enhance space capabilities with launch of Shenzhou-11

China launches 2 astronauts for 33-day mission

Two Russians, one American blast off to ISS

Tools Drive NASA's TReK to New Discoveries

Hurricane Nicole delays next US cargo mission to space

Automating sample testing thanks to space

Swedish Space Corporation Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Esrange Space Center

US-Russia Standoff Leaves NASA Without Manned Launch Capabilities

Ariane 5 ready for first Galileo payload

ILS Announces Two Missions under Its EUTELSAT Multi-Launch Agreement

Proxima Centauri might be more sunlike than we thought

Stars with Three Planet-Forming Discs of Gas

TESS will provide exoplanet targets for years to come

The death of a planet nursery?

Lego-like wall produces acoustic holograms

U.S. State Dept. approves $194 million radar sale to Kuwait

Pushing the boundaries of magnet design

Polymer breakthrough to improve things we use everyday

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.