AN AMS-02 FORERUNNER ON THE LAUNCHPAD
The AMS laptop that will support AMS-02 during its lifetime, will soon reach the Space Station. At 1:49 a.m. on September 21 the Shuttle Discovery completed the rollout from KSC’s Vehicle Assembly Building, safely reaching the launch pad, where it will wait till November 1 to take off for its last and final mission, the STS-133.
Beside its most important, large payload (the Permanent Multipurpose Module), it will also bring on the ISS the AMS laptop, the precious backup system for the experiment. Should it happen a communication interruption, the data will be stored into this laptop and sent to ground as soon as the communication link would be restored. Another similar laptop will leave with AMS-02 onboard the Shuttle Endeavour on February 26: it will have the same function but it will be interfaced with the Shuttle, not with the ISS, and will come back with the Endeavour.
In the meantime the STS-134 crew is undergoing heavy training to perform the AMS-02 transfer from the Shuttle robotic arm to the ISS Canadarm. During the installation of AMS-02 on ISS truss, they will be helped by the External Berthing Camera System that will provide them a real time view of the operations in addition to the view the astronauts will have from the Cupola . The AMS-02 interface needed for the Shuttle arm will be installed at the beginning of October.