NASA held an event that allowed the media to document the arrival of the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer - 02 (AMS-02) at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) this week. Members of the media were invited to interview the STS-134 crew and the scientists that are working on this project.
AMS-02 Event Held at Kennedy Space Center
Commander Kelly discusses the benefits of the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-02 experiment that he and his crew will deliver to the International Space Station next year. Photo Credit: Alan Walters
The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-02 (AMS-02) arrived at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) via a C-5M Super Galaxy on Aug. 26 at 11:18 a.m. EDT. The specially-modified aircraft is one of only three like it in the entire world. The crew of the mission that will deliver the AMS-02, STS-134, was on hand, along with many of the scientists involved in the project - some of whom flew with the experiment from Geneva, Switzerland.
The AMS-02 is a particle physics experiments that will eventually be mounted to the exterior of the ISS. The device will search for a number of exotic forms of matter by scanning cosmic rays. Researches will utilize the AMS-02's various sensors in an attempt to better understand how the universe formed and to look for dark matter, antimatter, and strangelets.
"We don't even have an understanding of what 85 percent of the universe is about," said Mike Fincke, STS-134 mission specialist, "We have some really fundamental questions that the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer will hopefully help us answer."
This piece of scientific hardware is scheduled to be delivered to the International Space Station (ISS) next year. The AMS-02 was constructed, tested and will be operated by an international team comprised of some 60 different institutes from 16 countries under United States Department of Energy (DOE) sponsorship.
AMS-02 is scheduled to launch on Feb. 26, 2011 at 4:04 p.m. EDT on board Endeavour with mission STS-134 - currently the last scheduled flight of the Space Shuttle program. This mission will carry spare parts, components for the Dextre robot already on orbit, and micrometeoroid debris shields.
This Week in Cape History
The official logo of STS-51I. Image Credit: NASA
August 27, 1985: NASA launched space shuttle Discovery (STS-51I) from Kennedy Space Center. The crew deployed three communications satellites and retrieved, repaired and re-launched the TELSAT-1 Communications Satellite, Syncom IV-3. The crew of STS-51I consisted of Commander Joseph Engle, Pilot Richard Covey and Mission Specialists; James D.A. van Hoften, John Lounge and William Fisher. The mission lasted 7 days, 2 hours, 18 minutes, 42 seconds, completing 111 orbits.
The Cape Week in Review is compiled by Jason Rhian, the Cape Insider, and is a weekly
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