Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ting complements crew on AMS installation

The Nobel Prize-winning physicist who led development of the $2 billion Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer thanked and congratulated the Endeavour crew for the instrument's successful installation this morning.

"Thank you very much for the great ride and safe delivery of AMS to the station," said MIT Prof. Sam Ting, the principal investigator for the particle physics detector known as AMS. "Your support and fantastic work has taken us one step closer to realizing the science potential of AMS. With your help, for the next 20 years, AMS on the station will provide us a better understanding of the origins of the universe."

"I was just looking out the window of the orbiter, and AMS looks absolutely fantastic on the truss," said Endeavour commander Mark Kelly.

"It was a great honor for us to have a small piece in the installation of AMS," added pilot Greg Johnson. "What a great project."

Speaking from Johnson Space Center in Houston, Ting showed a sense of humor about an hour after AMS was installed, after more than 16 years of work by hundreds of scientists spanning 16 countries.

"For whatever reason, all of you look much better in space," he told the six Endeavour astronauts, inviting them to CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, where AMS operations will be based.

The instrument has been powered on and is functioning properly. It's initial activation and checkout is being run out of the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.
"I hope together with you, we will try to make a contribution to a better understanding of our universe," said Ting.

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