Wednesday, August 11, 2010

ESA: Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer arrives at launch site

Looking down on the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS-02) inside the Large Space Simulator in March 2010

One of the most exciting scientific instruments ever built, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer will arrive at the Kennedy Space Center.

The quest for discovering the composition of the Universe is about to take a step further on the International Space Station (ISS).

The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) is not only the largest scientific instrument to be installed on the Station, and the largest cryogenically cooled superconducting magnet ever used in orbit. It will be delivered to the ISS by NASA's Space Shuttle.

During the unloading of AMS, following arrival at the Space Shuttle Landing Facility, media will have the opportunity to have a look at the hardware and talk to AMS scientists and managers.

Simonetta Di Pippo, ESA Director of Human Spaceflight, and Prof. Sam Ting, the experiment's leader from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will be available for interviews.

Understanding our Universe
AMS will help us to understand the origin and structure of the Universe by searching for signs of antimatter and dark matter.

As a byproduct, AMS will also gather a host of information on stars and galaxies millions of light years from our home Galaxy.

AMS was built mostly by institutes in Italy, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland, together with the participation of China, Russia, Taiwan and US. In all, the experiment's team consists of 56 institutes from 16 countries.

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