Space Shuttle Endeavour Carries AMS to Space on its Last Mission

Update : NASA managers have determined that Endeavour will not launch before Sunday, May 8. However it will not officially set a new launch date until early this week.

 

April 29, 2011

GENEVA April 29, 2011 – Today the Space Shuttle Endeavour will leave Earth’s orbit, marking the end of the Space Shuttle program. It is scheduled to launch from the Kennedy Space Station at 3:47 PM EDT (9:47 p.m. Geneva Time) on a 14-day mission to the International Space Station.

The Endeavour mission has a direct link to Geneva, as the shuttle will carry the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), an experiment that will search for antimatter and dark matter in space. NASA, along with 56 institutions(1) in 16 countries(2), has been a part of the AMS project since 1994, which was built at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). AMS will be the largest scientific instrument on the International Space Station and the largest physics experiment in space. AMS will also gather a host of information on stars and galaxies millions of light years from our home Galaxy.

The AMS brings together two scientific fields that have not had much historic interaction – astronomers who have seen the effects of these phenomena through their telescopes for centuries and high-energy physicists who have spent decades trying to explain them from the grounds. The AMS team hopes to find answers linking these two fields of science.

The U.S. Mission was pleased to recently host NASA Astronaut Steven Smith who has flown on the Space Shuttle Endeavor.

 

Note:

(1) Institutions and agencies participating: http://www..ams02.org/partners/participating-institutions/

(2) Participating Countries: China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, The Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Russia, South Korea,Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, United States.