August 29th, 2010

AMS-02 took possession of his new home, a big clean room at the Kennedy’s Space Station Processing Facility.
The SSPF is one of the most important facilities of the KSC. It’s a very big three story structure (over 42,000 sq. mt) that houses bays for the horizontal processing of components for the International Space Station and other Space Shuttle payloads. This means that presently, as the ISS assembly is nearly finished, the two bays are nearly empty, the last payloads being the three Multi-Purpose Logistic Modules (MPLM), among which the one modified to remain on board of the ISS will leave with the STS-133 at the beginning of November. Thanks to the KSC video feeds, you can have a very good look at AMS.

AMS at the SSPF

AMS in the SSPF High Bay. Click the image for the updated KSC video feed


AMS-02 traveled the 4 km from the Shuttle landing strip to the SSPF on board a special truck. Because of the very hot climate and the high humidity found in Florida, the truck had to be equipped with a dedicated air-cooling system to guarantee proper temperature conditions. And as you can see in the picture above, there’s a little fan on the left still working on it!

AMS-02 entering in the SSPF onboard a special truck with the yellow pipe for the dedicated air-conditiong system.

Prelaunch activities taking place in the SSPF include receipt, handling and assembly of the ISS hardware, experiments testing for proper configuration, and verification of critical systems and system interfaces. After the AMS-02 cover removal, the electric bonding test has been performed successfully and now the computers are being set up to start cosmic rays data taking.
During the coming weeks the activity will proceed through calibration and stability tests. Meanwhile, the last interface elements with the ISS will be installed and tested on Shuttle and ISS simulators.