Endeavour astronauts to visit CERN

The space shuttle carried the Alpha Magentic Spectrometer to the ISS last year – on Wednesday its crew will visit the AMS control centre

Endeavour astronauts to visit CERN

The STS-134 crew after touching down at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, US, at 2.35am local time on 1 June 2011 (Image: NASA)

Space Shuttle Endeavour made its final flight on 16 May last year, carrying the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS-02) to the International Space Station (ISS) as part of space-shuttle mission STS-134.

The STS-134 crew, Commander Mark Kelly, pilot Gregory Johnson, mission specialists Gregory Chamitoff, Michael Fincke, Andrew Feustel and European Space Agency astronaut Roberto Vittori will visit CERN on 25 July.

The astronauts will visit the AMS Payload Operation Control Center – a facility on the CERN site with a direct link to the ISS – from where experts from the AMS collaboration operate the detector round the clock. AMS-02 is a space-based particle-physics detector that operates as an external module on the ISS. By detecting and analysing cosmic rays, AMS-02 is addressing some of the mysteries of modern physics, such as dark matter and antimatter. The detector reached a milestone 17 billion cosmic-ray events analysed in May this year.

Watch the live webcast of the astronauts' public lecture here at 5pm on 25 July.