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Changes to Last Two Planned Shuttle Launches

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:59 am via: NASA
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(NASA) – NASA is planning to make some changes to the target launch dates for the last two scheduled space shuttle flights. Scientists with the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, or AMS, program recently decided to change out the current magnet in the particle physics experiment module that will be attached to the International Space Station to a longer lasting one. This will take advantage of NASA’s plan to extend station operations until at least 2020.

Because of the magnet change, space shuttle Endeavour’s STS-134 mission, which will carry the AMS experiment to the station and was targeted to launch July 29, now is expected to launch no earlier than mid-November 2010. An exact target launch date hasn’t yet been determined.

Nature and technology coexist at Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida following the arrival of space shuttle Atlantis at the pad. On the STS-132 mission, the six-member crew will deliver an Integrated Cargo Carrier, or ICC, and the Russian-built Mini-Research Module-1, or MRM-1, to the International Space Station. Image credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann

Nature and technology coexist at Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida following the arrival of space shuttle Atlantis at the pad. On the STS-132 mission, the six-member crew will deliver an Integrated Cargo Carrier, or ICC, and the Russian-built Mini-Research Module-1, or MRM-1, to the International Space Station. Image credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann

The AMS is designed to help study the formation of the universe and search for evidence of dark matter and antimatter by measuring cosmic rays.

Space shuttle Discovery’s STS-133 mission currently remains targeted for its Sept. 16 launch date, but managers will continue to assess its readiness for flight and make changes as appropriate.

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