Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer

Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer'
Start a new discussion about 'Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
AMS-02
AMS-02 patch
Alpha magnetic spectrometer
Organization AMS Collaboration
Mission Type Cosmic Ray
Cosmic ray
Cosmic rays are energetic charged subatomic particles, originating from outer space. They may produce secondary particles that penetrate the Earth's atmosphere and surface. The term ray is historical as cosmic rays were thought to be electromagnetic radiation...

Host Satellite International Space Station
International Space Station
The International Space Station is a habitable, artificial satellite in low Earth orbit. The ISS follows the Salyut, Almaz, Cosmos, Skylab, and Mir space stations, as the 11th space station launched, not including the Genesis I and II prototypes...

Launch 16 May 2011 8:56:28 AM EDT (13:56:28 UTC)
Launch vehicle
Launch site Kennedy Space Center
Kennedy Space Center
The John F. Kennedy Space Center is the NASA installation that has been the launch site for every United States human space flight since 1968. Although such flights are currently on hiatus, KSC continues to manage and operate unmanned rocket launch facilities for America's civilian space program...

 
Launch Pad 39A
Mission duration 10 years or more
Mass
Mass
Mass can be defined as a quantitive measure of the resistance an object has to change in its velocity.In physics, mass commonly refers to any of the following three properties of matter, which have been shown experimentally to be equivalent:...

14,809 lb (6,717 kg
Max length
Power consumption 2000–2500 watts
Webpage AMS-02 homepage
Orbital elements (ISS)
Inclination
Inclination
Inclination in general is the angle between a reference plane and another plane or axis of direction.-Orbits:The inclination is one of the six orbital parameters describing the shape and orientation of a celestial orbit...

51.6 degrees
Orbit
Orbit
In physics, an orbit is the gravitationally curved path of an object around a point in space, for example the orbit of a planet around the center of a star system, such as the Solar System...

LEO
Low Earth orbit
A low Earth orbit is generally defined as an orbit within the locus extending from the Earth’s surface up to an altitude of 2,000 km...

Min altitude 341 km (184 nmi)
Max altitude 353 km (191 nmi)
Period ~91 minutes


The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, also designated AMS-02, is a particle physics
Particle physics
Particle physics is a branch of physics that studies the existence and interactions of particles that are the constituents of what is usually referred to as matter or radiation. In current understanding, particles are excitations of quantum fields and interact following their dynamics...

 experiment module that is mounted on the International Space Station
International Space Station
The International Space Station is a habitable, artificial satellite in low Earth orbit. The ISS follows the Salyut, Almaz, Cosmos, Skylab, and Mir space stations, as the 11th space station launched, not including the Genesis I and II prototypes...

. It is designed to search for various types of unusual matter by measuring cosmic ray
Cosmic ray
Cosmic rays are energetic charged subatomic particles, originating from outer space. They may produce secondary particles that penetrate the Earth's atmosphere and surface. The term ray is historical as cosmic rays were thought to be electromagnetic radiation...

s. Its experiments will help researchers study the formation of the Universe
Universe
The Universe is commonly defined as the totality of everything that exists, including all matter and energy, the planets, stars, galaxies, and the contents of intergalactic space. Definitions and usage vary and similar terms include the cosmos, the world and nature...

 and search for evidence of dark matter
Dark matter
In astronomy and cosmology, dark matter is matter that neither emits nor scatters light or other electromagnetic radiation, and so cannot be directly detected via optical or radio astronomy...

 as well as investigate antimatter
Antimatter
In particle physics, antimatter is the extension of the concept of the antiparticle to matter, where antimatter is composed of antiparticles in the same way that normal matter is composed of particles...

. The principal investigator
Principal investigator
A principal investigator is the lead scientist or engineer for a particular well-defined science project, such as a laboratory study or clinical trial....

 is Nobel laureate particle physicist Samuel Ting
Samuel C. C. Ting
Samuel Chao Chung Ting is an American physicist who received the Nobel Prize in 1976, with Burton Richter, for discovering the subatomic J/ψ particle...

. After final testing at ESA's
European Space Agency
The European Space Agency , established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organisation dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 18 member states...

 European Space Research and Technology Centre
European Space Research and Technology Centre
The European Space Research and Technology Centre is the European Space Agency's main technology development and test centre for spacecraft and space technology. It is situated in Noordwijk, South Holland, in the western Netherlands....

 (ESTEC) facility in the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, delivery to the Kennedy Space Center
Kennedy Space Center
The John F. Kennedy Space Center is the NASA installation that has been the launch site for every United States human space flight since 1968. Although such flights are currently on hiatus, KSC continues to manage and operate unmanned rocket launch facilities for America's civilian space program...

 in Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

 took place on 26 August 2010. The launch of flight STS-134
STS-134
STS-134 was the penultimate mission of NASA's Space Shuttle program. The mission marked the 25th and final flight of . This flight delivered the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer and an ExPRESS Logistics Carrier to the International Space Station. Mark Kelly served as the mission commander...

 carrying AMS-02 took place on 16 May 2011, and the spectrometer was installed on 19 May 2011.

History


The alpha magnetic spectrometer was proposed in 1995 by MIT
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT has five schools and one college, containing a total of 32 academic departments, with a strong emphasis on scientific and technological education and research.Founded in 1861 in...

 particle physicist Samuel Ting, not long after the cancellation of the Superconducting Super Collider
Superconducting Super Collider
The Superconducting Super Collider was a particle accelerator complex under construction in the vicinity of Waxahachie, Texas that was set to be world's largest and most energetic, surpassing the current record held by the Large Hadron Collider. Its planned ring circumference was with an energy...

. The proposal was accepted and Ting became the principal investigator
Principal investigator
A principal investigator is the lead scientist or engineer for a particular well-defined science project, such as a laboratory study or clinical trial....

.

AMS-01



An AMS prototype designated AMS-01, a simplified version of the detector, was built by the international consortium under Ting's direction and flown into space aboard the on STS-91
STS-91
STS-91 was the final Space Shuttle mission to the Mir space station. It was flown by Space Shuttle Discovery, and launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 2 June 1998.-Crew:-Mission parameters:*Mass:...

 in June 1998. By not detecting any antihelium the AMS-01 established an upper limit of 1.1×10−6 for the antihelium to helium flux
Flux
In the various subfields of physics, there exist two common usages of the term flux, both with rigorous mathematical frameworks.* In the study of transport phenomena , flux is defined as flow per unit area, where flow is the movement of some quantity per time...

 ratio and proved that the detector concept worked in space. This shuttle mission was the last shuttle flight to the Mir Space Station
Mir
Mir was a space station operated in low Earth orbit from 1986 to 2001, at first by the Soviet Union and then by Russia. Assembled in orbit from 1986 to 1996, Mir was the first modular space station and had a greater mass than that of any previous spacecraft, holding the record for the...

. The photograph was taken from Mir.

AMS-02



After the flight of the prototype, Ting began the development of a full research system designated AMS-02. This development effort involved the work of 500 scientists from 56 institutions and 16 countries organized under United States Department of Energy
United States Department of Energy
The United States Department of Energy is a Cabinet-level department of the United States government concerned with the United States' policies regarding energy and safety in handling nuclear material...

 (DOE) sponsorship.

The instrument which eventually resulted from a long evolutionary process is "the most sophisticated particle detector ever sent into space", rivaling very large detectors used at major particle accelerators
Particle accelerator
A particle accelerator is a device that uses electromagnetic fields to propel charged particles to high speeds and to contain them in well-defined beams. An ordinary CRT television set is a simple form of accelerator. There are two basic types: electrostatic and oscillating field accelerators.In...

, and it has cost four times as much as any of its ground-based counterparts. Its goals have also evolved and been refined over time. As built it is a more comprehensive detector, which has (among other goals) a better chance of discovering evidence of dark matter
Dark matter
In astronomy and cosmology, dark matter is matter that neither emits nor scatters light or other electromagnetic radiation, and so cannot be directly detected via optical or radio astronomy...

.

The power requirements for AMS-02 were thought to be too great for a practical independent spacecraft. So AMS-02 was designed to be installed as an external module on the International Space Station and use power from the ISS. The post- plan was to deliver AMS-02 to the ISS by space shuttle in 2005 on station assembly
Assembly of the International Space Station
The assembly of the International Space Station is a major aerospace engineering endeavour being conducted in Low Earth orbit by a consortium of governmental and inter-governmental space agencies....

 mission UF4.1, but technical difficulties and shuttle scheduling issues have added more delays.

AMS-02 successfully completed final integration and operational testing at CERN
CERN
The European Organization for Nuclear Research , known as CERN , is an international organization whose purpose is to operate the world's largest particle physics laboratory, which is situated in the northwest suburbs of Geneva on the Franco–Swiss border...

 in Geneva, Switzerland which included exposure to powerful nuclear particle beams generated by the CERN particle accelerators. AMS-02 was then shipped to ESA's
European Space Agency
The European Space Agency , established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organisation dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 18 member states...

 European Space Research and Technology Centre
European Space Research and Technology Centre
The European Space Research and Technology Centre is the European Space Agency's main technology development and test centre for spacecraft and space technology. It is situated in Noordwijk, South Holland, in the western Netherlands....

 (ESTEC) facility in the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 where it arrived 16 February 2010. Here it underwent thermal vacuum, electromagnetic compatibility
Electromagnetic compatibility
Electromagnetic compatibility is the branch of electrical sciences which studies the unintentional generation, propagation and reception of electromagnetic energy with reference to the unwanted effects that such energy may induce...

 and electromagnetic interference
Electromagnetic interference
Electromagnetic interference is disturbance that affects an electrical circuit due to either electromagnetic induction or electromagnetic radiation emitted from an external source. The disturbance may interrupt, obstruct, or otherwise degrade or limit the effective performance of the circuit...

 testing. AMS-02 was scheduled for delivery to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

, U.S.A. in late May 2010. This was however postponed to August 26, as AMS-02 underwent final alignment beam testing at CERN.
A cryogenic, superconducting magnet system was developed for the AMS-02. This was a critical technology, enabling a high sensitivity needed to achieve mission objectives. Late in its development, poorly understood anomalous heating in the cryogenic magnet system was discovered. The anomalous heating would place additional demand on the cryogenic cooling. This characteristic significantly reduced the original system design lifetime and contributed to a decision to abandon the cryogenic system in favor of a previously developed but less capable permanent magnet system.

With Obama administration plans to extend International Space Station operations beyond 2015, the decision has been made by AMS management to exchange the original AMS-02 superconducting magnet for the non-superconducting magnet previously flown on AMS-01. Although the non-superconducting magnet has a weaker field strength, its on-orbit operational time at ISS is expected to be 10 to 18 years versus only 3 years for the superconducting version. This additional data gathering time has been deemed more important than higher experiment sensitivity, despite the fact that the abandoned cryogenic system was originally described as critical technology to mission success. Whether the ISS will operate long enough for AMS to take full advantage of its extended lifetime is also unclear.

Program management


Activities relating to payload integration, launch, and deployment of AMS-02 are managed by the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer Project Office at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas
Houston, Texas
Houston is the fourth-largest city in the United States, and the largest city in the state of Texas. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the city had a population of 2.1 million people within an area of . Houston is the seat of Harris County and the economic center of , which is the ...

, U.S.A.

Delivery and installation on the International Space Station


AMS-02 was delivered to the International Space Station
International Space Station
The International Space Station is a habitable, artificial satellite in low Earth orbit. The ISS follows the Salyut, Almaz, Cosmos, Skylab, and Mir space stations, as the 11th space station launched, not including the Genesis I and II prototypes...

 on May 19, 2011 as part of station assembly flight ULF6 on shuttle flight STS-134
STS-134
STS-134 was the penultimate mission of NASA's Space Shuttle program. The mission marked the 25th and final flight of . This flight delivered the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer and an ExPRESS Logistics Carrier to the International Space Station. Mark Kelly served as the mission commander...

, commanded by Mark Kelly. It was removed from the shuttle cargo bay using the shuttle's robotic arm and handed off to the station's robotic arm for installation. AMS-02 is mounted on top of the Integrated Truss Structure
Integrated Truss Structure
the Integrated Truss Structure forms the backbone of the International Space Station, with mountings for unpressurized logistics carriers, radiators, solar arrays, and other equipment.-History:...

, on USS-02, the zenith
Zenith
The zenith is an imaginary point directly "above" a particular location, on the imaginary celestial sphere. "Above" means in the vertical direction opposite to the apparent gravitational force at that location. The opposite direction, i.e...

 side of the S3-element of the truss.

Specifications

  • Mass: 14,809 lb (6,717 kg) or 14,839 lb (6731 kg) — (please find out which is correct and remove the other)
  • Power: 2000–2500 watts
  • Internal data rate: 10 Gbit/s
  • Data rate to ground: 2 Mbit/s
  • Primary mission duration: 10 to 18 years
  • Magnetic field intensity: 0.125 teslas
    Tesla (unit)
    The tesla is the SI derived unit of magnetic field B . One tesla is equal to one weber per square meter, and it was defined in 1960 in honour of the inventor, physicist, and electrical engineer Nikola Tesla...

     produced by a 1,200 kg Nd2Fe14B permanent magnet
  • Original superconducting magnet: 2 coils of niobium-titanium
    Niobium-titanium
    Niobium-titanium is an alloy of niobium and titanium, used industrially as a type II superconductor wire for superconducting magnets...

     at 1.8 K producing a central field of 0.87 teslas
    Tesla (unit)
    The tesla is the SI derived unit of magnetic field B . One tesla is equal to one weber per square meter, and it was defined in 1960 in honour of the inventor, physicist, and electrical engineer Nikola Tesla...

  • AMS-02 flight magnet changed to non-superconducting AMS-01 version to extend experiment life and to solve reliability problems in the operation of the superconducting system

Cost


In 1999, after the successful flight of AMS-01, the total cost of the AMS program was estimated to be $33 million, with AMS-02 planned for flight to the ISS in 2003. After the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster
Space Shuttle Columbia disaster
The Space Shuttle Columbia disaster occurred on February 1, 2003, when shortly before it was scheduled to conclude its 28th mission, STS-107, the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated over Texas and Louisiana during re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere, resulting in the death of all seven crew members...

 in 2003, and after a number of technical difficulties with the construction of AMS-02, the cost of the program ballooned to an estimated $1.5 billion.

The cost of the program was criticized heavily during the period when it appeared that it would not be flown, and remains controversial.

Module design


The detector module consists of a series of detectors that are used to determine various characteristics of the radiation and particles as they pass through. Characteristics are determined only for particles that pass through from top to bottom. Particles that enter the detector at any other angles are rejected. From top to bottom the subsystems are identified as:
  • Transition radiation detector
    Transition radiation detector
    A transition radiation detector is a particle detector using the \gamma-dependent threshold of transition radiation in a stratified material. It contains many layers of materials with different indices of refraction. At each interface between materials, the probability of transition radiation...

    measures the velocities of the highest energy particles;
  • Upper time of flight counter, along with the lower time of flight counter, measures the velocities of lower energy particles;
  • Star tracker determines the orientation of the module in space;
  • Silicon tracker measures the coordinates of charged particles in the magnetic field;
  • Permanent magnet bends the path of charged particles so they can be identified;
  • Anti-coincidence counter rejects stray particles that enter through the sides;
  • Ring imaging Cherenkov detector
    Ring imaging Cherenkov detector
    A Ring Imaging Cherenkov detector is a particle detector that can determine the velocity, v , of a charged particle. This is done by an indirect measurement of the Cherenkov angle, \theta_c , i.e. the angle between the emitted Čerenkov radiation and the particle path...

    measures velocity of fast particles with extreme accuracy;
  • Electromagnetic calorimeter measures the total energy of the particles.

Scientific goals


The AMS-02 will use the unique environment of space to advance knowledge of the Universe and lead to the understanding of its origin by searching for antimatter, dark matter
Dark matter
In astronomy and cosmology, dark matter is matter that neither emits nor scatters light or other electromagnetic radiation, and so cannot be directly detected via optical or radio astronomy...

 and measuring cosmic ray
Cosmic ray
Cosmic rays are energetic charged subatomic particles, originating from outer space. They may produce secondary particles that penetrate the Earth's atmosphere and surface. The term ray is historical as cosmic rays were thought to be electromagnetic radiation...

s.

Antimatter



Experimental evidence indicates that our galaxy
Milky Way
The Milky Way is the galaxy that contains the Solar System. This name derives from its appearance as a dim un-resolved "milky" glowing band arching across the night sky...

 is made of matter
Matter
Matter is a general term for the substance of which all physical objects consist. Typically, matter includes atoms and other particles which have mass. A common way of defining matter is as anything that has mass and occupies volume...

; however, scientists believe there are about 100–200 billion galaxies in the Universe and some versions of the Big Bang
Big Bang
The Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological model that explains the early development of the Universe. According to the Big Bang theory, the Universe was once in an extremely hot and dense state which expanded rapidly. This rapid expansion caused the young Universe to cool and resulted in...

 theory of the origin of the Universe require equal amounts of matter and antimatter. Theories that explain this apparent asymmetry violate other measurements. Whether or not there is significant antimatter is one of the fundamental questions of the origin and nature of the Universe. Any observations of an antihelium nucleus would provide evidence for the existence of antimatter in space. In 1999, AMS-01 established a new upper limit of 10−6 for the antihelium/helium flux ratio in the Universe. AMS-02 will search with a sensitivity of 10−9, an improvement of three orders of magnitude over AMS-01, sufficient to reach the edge of the expanding Universe and resolve the issue definitively.

Dark matter



The visible matter in the Universe, such as stars, adds up to less than 5 percent of the total mass that is known to exist from many other observations. The other 95 percent is dark, either dark matter, which is estimated at 20 percent of the Universe by weight, or dark energy
Dark energy
In physical cosmology, astronomy and celestial mechanics, dark energy is a hypothetical form of energy that permeates all of space and tends to accelerate the expansion of the universe. Dark energy is the most accepted theory to explain recent observations that the universe appears to be expanding...

, which makes up the balance. The exact nature of both still is unknown. One of the leading candidates for dark matter is the neutralino
Neutralino
In particle physics, the neutralino is a hypothetical particle predicted by supersymmetry. There are four neutralinos that are fermions and are electrically neutral, the lightest of which is typically stable...

. If neutralinos exist, they should be colliding with each other and giving off an excess of charged particles that can be detected by AMS-02. Any peaks in the background positron
Positron
The positron or antielectron is the antiparticle or the antimatter counterpart of the electron. The positron has an electric charge of +1e, a spin of ½, and has the same mass as an electron...

, antiproton
Antiproton
The antiproton is the antiparticle of the proton. Antiprotons are stable, but they are typically short-lived since any collision with a proton will cause both particles to be annihilated in a burst of energy....

, or gamma ray
Gamma ray
Gamma radiation, also known as gamma rays or hyphenated as gamma-rays and denoted as γ, is electromagnetic radiation of high frequency . Gamma rays are usually naturally produced on Earth by decay of high energy states in atomic nuclei...

 flux could signal the presence of neutralinos or other dark matter candidates, but would need to be distinguished from poorly known confusing astrophysical signals.

Strangelets



Six types of quark
Quark
A quark is an elementary particle and a fundamental constituent of matter. Quarks combine to form composite particles called hadrons, the most stable of which are protons and neutrons, the components of atomic nuclei. Due to a phenomenon known as color confinement, quarks are never directly...

s (up, down, strange, charm, bottom and top) have been found experimentally; however, the majority of matter on Earth is made up of only up and down quarks. It is a fundamental question whether there exists stable matter made up of strange quarks in combination with up and down quarks. Particles of such matter are known as strangelets. Strangelets might have extremely large mass and very small charge-to-mass ratios. It would be a totally new form of matter. AMS-02 may determine whether this extraordinary matter exists in our local environment.

Space radiation environment


Cosmic radiation
Cosmic ray
Cosmic rays are energetic charged subatomic particles, originating from outer space. They may produce secondary particles that penetrate the Earth's atmosphere and surface. The term ray is historical as cosmic rays were thought to be electromagnetic radiation...

 is a significant obstacle to a manned space flight to Mars
Manned mission to Mars
A manned mission to Mars has been the subject of science fiction, engineering, and scientific proposals throughout the 20th century and into the 21st century...

. Accurate measurements of the cosmic ray environment are needed to plan appropriate countermeasures. Most cosmic ray studies are done by balloon-borne instruments with flight times that are measured in days; these studies have shown significant variations. AMS-02 will be operative on the ISS
International Space Station
The International Space Station is a habitable, artificial satellite in low Earth orbit. The ISS follows the Salyut, Almaz, Cosmos, Skylab, and Mir space stations, as the 11th space station launched, not including the Genesis I and II prototypes...

 for at least 3 years, gathering a large amount of accurate data and allowing measurements of the long term variation of the cosmic ray flux over a wide energy range, for nuclei from proton
Proton
The proton is a subatomic particle with the symbol or and a positive electric charge of 1 elementary charge. One or more protons are present in the nucleus of each atom, along with neutrons. The number of protons in each atom is its atomic number....

s to iron
Iron
Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is the most common element forming the planet Earth as a whole, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust...

. In addition to the understanding the radiation protection required for manned interplanetary flight
Human spaceflight
Human spaceflight is spaceflight with humans on the spacecraft. When a spacecraft is manned, it can be piloted directly, as opposed to machine or robotic space probes and remotely-controlled satellites....

, this data will allow the interstellar propagation and origins of cosmic rays to be identified.

Extended mission


According to its original design, AMS-02 was to be returned to Earth on a shuttle flight after its superfluid helium supply (used to cool the superconducting
Superconductivity
Superconductivity is a phenomenon of exactly zero electrical resistance occurring in certain materials below a characteristic temperature. It was discovered by Heike Kamerlingh Onnes on April 8, 1911 in Leiden. Like ferromagnetism and atomic spectral lines, superconductivity is a quantum...

 magnet solenoid
Solenoid
A solenoid is a coil wound into a tightly packed helix. In physics, the term solenoid refers to a long, thin loop of wire, often wrapped around a metallic core, which produces a magnetic field when an electric current is passed through it. Solenoids are important because they can create...

) was exhausted. Because the superconducting system could not be made to work reliably, lower sensitivity non-superconducting magnets were employed, eliminating the need for superfluid helium. The experiment additionally is too large and heavy to return to Earth after the retirement of the shuttle, and the plan is therefore now to leave the unit in place on the space station exterior.

Launch cancellation and restoration


For several years it was uncertain if AMS-02 would ever be launched because it was not manifested to fly on any of the remaining Space Shuttle
Space Shuttle
The Space Shuttle was a manned orbital rocket and spacecraft system operated by NASA on 135 missions from 1981 to 2011. The system combined rocket launch, orbital spacecraft, and re-entry spaceplane with modular add-ons...

 flights. After the 2003 Columbia disaster
Space Shuttle Columbia disaster
The Space Shuttle Columbia disaster occurred on February 1, 2003, when shortly before it was scheduled to conclude its 28th mission, STS-107, the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated over Texas and Louisiana during re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere, resulting in the death of all seven crew members...

 NASA decided to reduce shuttle flights and retire the remaining shuttles by 2010. A number of flights were removed from the remaining manifest including the flight for AMS-02. In 2006 NASA studied alternative ways of delivering AMS-02 to the space station, but they all proved to be too expensive.

In May 2008 a bill was proposed to launch AMS-02 to ISS on an additional shuttle flight in 2010 or 2011. The bill was passed by the full House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 on 11 June 2008. The bill then went before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee where it also passed. It was then amended and passed by the full Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 on 25 September 2008, and was passed again by the House on 27 September 2008. It was signed by President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 on 15 October 2008. The bill authorized NASA to add another space shuttle flight to the schedule before the space shuttle program is discontinued. In January 2009 NASA restored AMS-02 to the shuttle manifest. On 26 August 2010, AMS-02 was delivered from CERN
CERN
The European Organization for Nuclear Research , known as CERN , is an international organization whose purpose is to operate the world's largest particle physics laboratory, which is situated in the northwest suburbs of Geneva on the Franco–Swiss border...

 to the Kennedy Space Center
Kennedy Space Center
The John F. Kennedy Space Center is the NASA installation that has been the launch site for every United States human space flight since 1968. Although such flights are currently on hiatus, KSC continues to manage and operate unmanned rocket launch facilities for America's civilian space program...

 by a Lockheed C-5 Galaxy, and it was launched into space on STS-134
STS-134
STS-134 was the penultimate mission of NASA's Space Shuttle program. The mission marked the 25th and final flight of . This flight delivered the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer and an ExPRESS Logistics Carrier to the International Space Station. Mark Kelly served as the mission commander...

 on 16 May 2011.

See also


  • Scientific research on the ISS
    Scientific research on the ISS
    Scientific Research on the International Space Station is a collection of experiments that require one or more of the unusual conditions present in low Earth orbit. The primary fields of research include human research, space medicine, life sciences, physical sciences, astronomy and meteorology...

  • PAMELA is an Italian-international cosmic ray
    Cosmic ray
    Cosmic rays are energetic charged subatomic particles, originating from outer space. They may produce secondary particles that penetrate the Earth's atmosphere and surface. The term ray is historical as cosmic rays were thought to be electromagnetic radiation...

     mission launched in 2006 with similar goals.
  • List of space telescopes (Astronomical Space Observatories)

External links