Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer Installed
The International Space Station has a new toy, a special type of telescope that can see matter that other telescopes can’t.
The $2 billion telescope which weighs 7.5 tons is called the AMS or Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer particle detector. As soon as it was installed it went right to work gathering data and breaking scientific history.
Like something out of the “Star Trek” stories, the device cuts through the barrage of cosmic rays in order to see such phenomena as dark matter, which makes up the majority of the matter of the universe but until now undetectable, anti-matter, and other celestial phenomena.
It’s a powerful instrument that can send close to 25,000 times a second the amount of data it gleans. It’s hoped the telescope will change the face of astronomy and astrophysics.
The success of this part of the Space Shuttle Endeavor’s last mission is a big win for the US after a string of winning objectives of late.
The mission is headed by Commander Mark Kelly whose wife Congresswoman Gabby Giffords is undergoing rehabilitation for a gunshot wound suffered during an assassination attempt months ago.
The shuttle will also have to undergo a thorough inspection however due to the potential of damage to it’s heat shields, but other than that the mission is going good.
Category: US News