AMS to depart for Kennedy Space Center

On August 26, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer will depart from Geneva International Airport and begin its journey to Kennedy Space Center on board a US Air Force Galaxy transport aircraft.

This latest trip will put the AMS one step closer to its eventual destination, the International Space Station (ISS).

Once it arrives at Kennedy Space Center, the AMS will undergo  tests in a clean room. Testing that was conducted last February at the European Space Research and Technology Center (ESTEC) in the Netherlands led to the decision to outfit the detector with a permanent magnet instead of a superconducting magnet. This will allow the experiment to remain operational for the entire lifetime of the ISS.

AMS has been designed to search for antimatter and dark matter by measuring cosmic rays,  a project that complements research being done at the Large Hadron Collider.

AMS is scheduled to be launched into space at the end of February 2011.