Feeds

Endeavour crawls to Kennedy launch pad

Leisurely prelude to ISS mission to plonk down antimatter-detection kit

High performance access to file storage

Space shuttle Endeavour this morning complete its leisurely 3.4-mile journey from Kennedy Space Center's Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Pad 39A, ahead of its scheduled STS-134 mission launch on 19 April.

The Endeavour crew. Pic: NASANASA has provided the traditional cheery photo of the Endeavour crew, which shows commander Mark Kelly at bottom centre and, clockwise, pilot Gregory H. Johnson, and mission specialists Michael Fincke, Greg Chamitoff, Andrew Feustel and the European Space Agency’s Roberto Vittori.

During the 14-day mission, Endeavour will deliver "the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) and spare parts including two S-band communications antennas, a high-pressure gas tank, additional spare parts for Dextre and micrometeoroid debris shields".

The AMS is described as "a state-of-the-art particle physics detector" which "will use the unique environment of space to advance knowledge of the universe and lead to the understanding of the universe's origin by searching for antimatter, dark matter and measuring cosmic rays".

The AMS. Pic: NASASpecifically, the AMS (pictured) is tasked with sniffing out antihelium nuclei, something which "would provide evidence for the existence of antimatter".

During its nominal mission of three years, it will monitor cosmic radiation to provide vital data on just how to protect astronauts on long interplanetary trips.

The device may answer the question of whether the theoretical strangelet particle actually exists. NASA describes the "extraordinary" blend of u, d and s quarks as potentially "a totally new form of matter".

It'll also be keeping an eye out for the "neutralino" - another theoretical particle which is among the candidates for dark matter.

NASA enthuses that the spectrometer will run "24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year" capturing data at a rate "equivalent to filling a 1 Gigabyte USB memory stick every second!" ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
Get your MOON GEAR: Auction to feature Space Race memorabilia
Keepsakes from early NASA, Soviet programs up for bids
New FEMTO-MOON sighted BIRTHING from Saturn's RING
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.