Launch Photos: Orbital ATK's Antares Rocket & Cygnus OA-9 Soar to ISS!

The Cold Atom Laboratory

NASA/iGoal Animation

The Cold Atom Lab (CAL) will create a spot aboard the International Space Station 10 billion times colder than the vacuum of space.

A CAL Timeline


NASA's CAL Mission began in 2012 and will continue through 2020.

Loading Up CAL


These photos show NASA's Cold Atom Laboratory being integrated into the Cygnus cargo spacecraft in anticipation of the Antares rocket launch on May 21, 2018.

E. Coli in Space?

Wikimedia Commons

Scientists at the University of Alaska Anchorage are exploring how genetically modified E. Coli would produce isobutane in one experiment on the Cygnus OA-9.

Only the BEST


The BEST experiment is looking to advance sequencing in space and understand how microbes react to the unique environments aboard the International Space Station.

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Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.