LEWISTON — The work of Bates College physicist Nathan Lundblad is taking off. In fact, if all goes as planned, Lundblad’s laboratory will blast off at 4:39 a.m. Monday from a NASA facility in Virginia.

Its destination is the International Space Station.

According to Bates, the rocket carrying Lundblad’s work might be visible on the horizon early Monday morning.

Noah Petro, NASA project scientist for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission, told Bates News that the rocket could be visible in the southern skies three minutes after launch.

“If you are in the right area, it will appear as a small dot of red light traveling much faster than an airplane with no blinking lights,” he said. “You’ll want to be in an area with a clear horizon and away from bright lights.”

Lundblad is one of the few scientists chosen — and the only one from an undergraduate college — to have his research conducted by the Cold Atom Lab in its initial experiments aboard the space station, according to Bates. Nature magazine calls the lab a “playground in space” for quantum physicists such as Lundblad. 

Lundblad, an associate professor of physics, has said that he will involve his students when data from the Cold Atom Lab becomes available a few days after the launch.

Find out more at Bates.edu.

Bates College associate professor of physics Nathan Lundblad poses in his lab Feb. 28, 2014. (Sarah Crosby/Bates College)

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