What is AMS?

General objectives:To collect precision cosmic ray data at high energies, including 10^10 protons; to discover or rule out certain particles as explanations for dark matter; to study cosmic ray propagation in the galaxy; to search for exotic particles or spectral features among cosmic rays

See:AMS experiment mission overview

The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer Experiment

AMS is a particle detector for the International Space Station. A group of high-energy physicists are taking their experimental expertise – acquired in thirty years of experience at particle accelerators – into orbit. Space is full of high-energy particles of many types (collectively called “cosmic rays”), many of them originating in supernova explosions in distant galaxies. AMS detects them using a huge superconducting magnet and six highly specialized, ultra-precise detectors. It will sit on the ISS main truss – far above the obscuring atmosphere, and making full use of the ISS’s irreplaceable support systems – and gather data for three years.

Long-Awaited Cosmic-Ray Detector May Be ShelvedBy DENNIS OVERBYE Published: April 3, 2007 The New York Times- Spacer and Cosmos

Beyond the experiment itself, the standoff represents a clash between two of the more strong-willed and brilliant leaders of Big Science in America: Dr. Ting of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who is known for his autocratic management style and obsession with detail, and Michael D. Griffin, the NASA administrator, who has shown himself willing to make tough calls in reshaping the space program away from the shuttle and toward the Moon and Mars.

Photographs by The AMS Collaboration

NASA agreed in 1995 to carry the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer to the space station. But now the agency says its remaining shuttle flights are booked.

I have a thought to be considered here, that might spark some ideas about what happened to AMS. The question to my mind was whether this was more then political or money issue?

Think of Dennis Overbye’s article of 2007, in face of the current article presented of his.

I thought along the way that this issue was resolved in regards to strangelets, and would had been “the issue” that solved allowed this to languish. But maybe there is more?

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