Science on the penultimate space shuttle

Endeavour carries $2-billion experiment to hunt for exotic physics

By Alexandra Witze, 11:37 AM April 29, 2011

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — NASA saved one of its best for nearly its last. Friday’s scheduled launch of the space shuttle Endeavour — its last flight, and the second-to-last planned for any shuttle — will be carrying an ambitious and potentially pioneering particle physics experiment.

The $2-billion, 7.5-ton Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, or AMS, is destined to nestle along the backbone of the International Space Station, there to study charged particles streaming through space. Designed to h...

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