Feeds

Endeavour crawls to Kennedy launch pad

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

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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!" ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
LOHAN packs bags for SPACEPORT AMERICA!
Spanish launch goes titsup, we're off to the US of A
Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies
Gummy pterosaurs outlived toothy competitors
'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race
ELMOFO rakes in two wins in sanctioned race
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
Boffins build CYBORG-MOTHRA but not for evil: For search & rescue
This tiny bio-bot will chew through your clothes then save your life
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.