Endeavour crew hooks up $2 billion cosmic ray detector

May 21, 2011CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. —The International Space Station’s signature science experiment, a $2 billion particle physics detector, is securely attached to the outpost. Endeavour astronauts Thursday morning lifted the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer from the shuttle’s payload bay and attached it to the right, space-facing side of the station’s structural truss, completing their top mission objective. The device was confirmed attached at 5:46 a.m. EDT. “AMS is probably the most significant scientific experiment on the station,” radioed Endeavour mission specialist Greg Chamitoff. “We all look forward to seeing what AMS will discover about the nature of the universe.” Power and data connections must be made before the 7.5-ton instrument is operational, but it should begin collecting data soon. The instrument will sift through cosmic rays travelling from distant reaches of the universe, characterizing the high-energy particles passing through it in the hopes of better understanding the structure and origin of the universe. The cosmic ray detector is designed to look for dark matter, the mysterious, unseen substance believed to account for most of the universe’s mass; antimatter, which according to the Big Bang theory should have existed in equal quantity to matter at the universe’s creation; and “strange” matter created experimentally but not found on Earth. A prototype instrument flew a test run on shuttle Discovery in June 1998, but it has since been upgraded with more sensitive detectors. It features a large permanent magnet and eight detectors to measure particles’ speed, direction, mass and charge. –USA Today
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2 Responses to Endeavour crew hooks up $2 billion cosmic ray detector

  1. dreamer says:

    And when they prove what they allready know to be the cause there will be nothing but lies to share with us.


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