The Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo craft
The Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo craft is pictured as the International Space Station orbits above the state of Florida, The Bahamas and the country of Cuba. Credits: NASA
› Larger view

NASA will host a media teleconference at 10 a.m. PDT (1 p.m. EDT) Thursday, May 10, to discuss select science investigations and technology demonstrations launching on the next Orbital ATK commercial resupply flight to the International Space Station. The cargo payload will include a fundamental physics facility called the Cold Atom Laboratory, designed and built at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Orbital ATK is targeting Sunday, May 20, for the launch of its Cygnus spacecraft on an Antares rocket from pad 0A at Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia.

The Cygnus spacecraft will carry crew supplies, scientific research and hardware to the orbiting laboratory to support the Expedition 55 and 56 crews for the ninth contracted mission by Orbital ATK under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services contract.

To participate in the teleconference, media must contact Kathryn Hambleton at 202-358-1100 or by 7 a.m. PDT (10 a.m. EDT) Thursday, for dial-in information.

Participants in Thursday's briefing will be:

  • Sarah Wallace, microbiologist at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston and principal investigator for Biomolecule Extraction and Sequencing Technology (BEST), an investigation to identify unknown microbial organisms on the space station and understand how humans, plants and microbes adapt to living on the station
  • Robert Shotwell, chief engineer for the Astronomy and Physics Directorate at JPL, and manager for theCold Atom Laboratory, a physics research facility used by scientists to explore how atoms interact when they have almost no motion due to extreme cold temperatures
  • Andrea Adamo, founder and CEO for Zaiput Flow Technologies, who will discuss plans to validate a unique liquid separation system that relies on surface forces, rather than gravity, to extract one liquid from another
  • A representative from Space Applications Services for the Ice Cubes Facility,the first commercial European opportunity to conduct research in space, made possible through an agreement with ESA (European Space Agency)
  • Brandon Briggs, assistant professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage, who will discuss a payload that will evaluate the biological production of the biofuel isobutene using engineered E. coli under microgravity conditions

Audio of the teleconference will be streamed live online at:

For launch countdown coverage, NASA's launch blog, and more information about the mission, visit:

News Media Contact

Calla Cofield
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Kathryn Hambleton
NASA Headquarters, Washington