The Antares missile today will launch the Cygnus cargo vehicle into orbit. He will deliver to the ISS three tons of various equipment and supplies, as well as ordinary cement – astronauts will study its properties in microgravity.
In addition, the laboratory will be sent to the ISS for testing at extremely low temperatures. The device will create the strongest cold – the temperature will be 10 billion times lower than in the open space. In such an environment, with the help of lasers and magnets, scientists will try to slow down the atoms, making them virtually immobile.
This is necessary in order to improve a number of existing technologies – the discovery will help in the development of sensors, quantum computers and atomic clocks.
This will be the ninth mission for space company Orbital ATK under the contract with NASA for $ 1.9 billion.