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NASA Invites Media to Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer Arrival

August 10, 2010

NASA will host a media event at 10:30 a.m. EDT on Thursday, Aug. 26, at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the arrival of the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS). The state-of-the-art device to further our understanding of the universe will launch to the International Space Station during the last scheduled space shuttle flight next year.

The AMS will arrive for processing at Kennedy’s Shuttle Landing Facility at 11 a.m. aboard an Air Force C-5 aircraft. The instrument, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), is a particle physics detector constructed, tested and operated by an international team representing 16 countries.

During the media event, reporters will have an opportunity to speak with AMS’ principal investigator, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Samuel Ting of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Mark Sistilli, NASA’s program manager for AMS. Other members of the international AMS team, flight processing project managers, DOE staff and European Space Agency officials, whose facilities were used in testing the experiment, also will be available for interviews.

U.S. reporters must apply for credentials by noon, Wednesday, Aug. 25. International journalists must apply by 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 17. Reporters without permanent Kennedy credentials should submit their request online at: https://media.ksc.nasa.gov

Media planning to attend must arrive at Kennedy’s news center by 9:30 a.m. for transportation to the event. Participants must be dressed in full-length pants, flat shoes that entirely cover the feet and shirts with sleeves. Because times are subject to change, call Kennedy’s media information line for updates at 321-867-2525.

The AMS will fly aboard shuttle Endeavour’s STS-134 mission, targeted to launch Feb. 26, 2011. The device will be mounted and operated on the space station. It will use the unique environment of space to advance knowledge of the universe, leading to a better understanding of the universe’s origin by searching for antimatter, dark matter, strange matter and measuring cosmic rays. AMS will attempt to answer such fundamental questions of the origin and nature of the universe as, is there antimatter in the universe; what is the exact nature of dark matter; and does strange matter exist. The experiment is expected to remain active for the duration of the station’s life.

For more information about AMS, visit: http://ams.nasa.gov

For more information about the STS-134 mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/sts134

For more information about the space station, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/station




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