March 6th, 2011

On February 28th Endeavour performed safely the rollover from the OPF to the VAB.

Looking at this veteran vehicle which will carry AMS-02 to the Space Station warily moved for a quarter of a mile on a yellow track at Kennedy Space Center, it was very impressive for us. On the picture above you can see the Collaboration with the parading Endeavour behind.

Credit: NASA

In the VAB the shuttle has been prepared to mate her tank; on March 9th – the same day of Discovery’s landing – Endeavour will rollout to the launch pad, where AMS-02 will join the other payloads on the bay area.
Once loaded into the canister, operation which is now scheduled for March 15th, three days in advance if compared to the previous agenda, the spectrometer will be transported from SSPF to the pad. 


The canister will arrive at pad on March 23rd and then lift into the Payload Changeout Room (PCR) where AMS-02 wil be installed first into the Payload Ground Handling Mechanism (PGHM) and then into the Orbiter Payloads Bay (OPLB) with its brothers as shown in the picture below.

AMS-02 last days at SSPF are devoted to routine simulations, now with the experiment in the switched on configuration, and lasting till March 11th. Meanwhile a small but important part of the experiment, the AMS-02 laptop, has already begun to be crossed by cosmic rays since it arrived on the Space Station with the Discovery on February 26th.
Since between March 14th and March 16th all the operations and the POCC teams will move to Houston – JSC from where we will control the experiment during the launch, we took also souvenir pictures with the STS-134 crew.