NASA‘s Jet Propulsion Laboratory aims to send a suite of instruments to the International Space Station as part of an experiment designed to support research on gravity and dark energy through the creation of the coldest spot in the universe.
The space agency said Tuesday the Cold Atom Laboratory suite of instruments will conduct an experiment that freezes gas atoms to approximately a billionth of a degree above absolute zero.
The CAL instrument suite, which includes lasers, a vacuum chamber and electromagnetic knife, will launch aboard SpaceX‘s Commercial Resupply Services-12 spacecraft in August.
“Studying these hyper-cold atoms could reshape our understanding of matter and the fundamental nature of gravity,” said Robert Thompson, a project scientist at JPL for the Cold Atom Laboratory instrument.
“The experiments we’ll do with the Cold Atom Lab will give us insight into gravity and dark energy — some of the most pervasive forces in the universe.”
NASA noted that the Johnson Space Center’s International Space Station Program sponsors the Cold Atom Laboratory project which will undergo a testing phase in preparation for its delivery to Cape Canaveral.
The space agency added that five scientific teams look to conduct experiments using the Cold Atom Lab in a push to support the development of technologies such as atomic clocks, sensors and quantum computers.