On 16 May last year Space Shuttle Endeavour made its final flight, carrying the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS-02) to the International Space Station (ISS). AMS-02 is a space-based particle-physics detector that operates as an external module on the ISS. By detecting and analyzing cosmic rays, AMS-02 is addressing some of the mysteries of modern physics, such as the questions of dark matter and antimatter.
Experts from the AMS collaboration operate the detector round the clock from the Payload Operation Control Center, a facility on the CERN site with a direct link to the ISS. Since its launch, AMS-02 has recorded 17 billion cosmic-ray events at energies exceeding 10 TeV.
The crew of STS134 – the Space-Shuttle mission that brought AMS to space – will visit CERN on 25 July this year.