Michael Braukus Headquarters, Washington, DC (Phone: 202/358-1979) Don Savage Headquarters, Washington, DC (Phone: 202/358


September 20, 1995

Jeff Sherwood Department of Energy, Washington, DC (Phone: 202/586-5806)

RELEASE: 95-157 PHYSICS EXPERIMENT TO FLY ON SPACE STATION NASA and the Department of Energy (DOE) today signed an agreement to fly a major scientific experiment on the Space Shuttle and later on the international Space Station. Nobel laureate, Professor Samuel C.C. Ting of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will lead the experiment's scientific team. The DOE-sponsored experiment will look for antimatter originating from outside our galaxy and also may lead to the scientific discovery of dark matter, the mysterious, yet undiscovered material that some scientists say makes up 90% or more of the universe. "The enthusiastic cooperation from NASA has helped to make this physics research in space possible," said Secretary of Energy Hazel R. O'Leary. "This pioneering experiment holds the promise of delivering a better understanding of our universe." "I'm thrilled that this experiment has been selected to fly on the Space Station," said NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin. "I've always said that the Space Station will be an orbiting laboratory capable of conducting world-class science, and the addition of an experiment whose science team is led by a Nobel laureate is one more step in

realizing the full potential of the Space Station." - more -2The experiment is a state-of-the-art particle physics detector called the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS). AMS will use the unique environment of space to study the properties and origin of cosmic particles and nuclei including antimatter and dark matter. Discovering the presence of either material will increase scientists' understanding of the early universe and could potentially lead to a clearer understanding of the actual origin of the universe and to the discovery of antimatter stars and galaxies. The AMS experiment is an international collaboration of some 37 universities and laboratories. AMS will be the first large magnet experiment ever placed in Earth orbit. NASA plans to fly AMS initially as a Space Shuttle payload on the STS-90 mission in April 1998. This flight will provide the investigator's team with data on background sources and verify the detector's performance under actual space flight conditions. The detector will operate for approximately 100 hours during this mission. The detector's second space flight will occur when it is launched on Space Shuttle mission STS-110 in 2001 for installation on the Space Station as an attached payload. Current plans call for operating the detector for three years before it is returned to Earth on the Shuttle. Utilizing the Space Station offers the science team the opportunity to conduct the long-duration research necessary to collect sufficient data required to accomplish the science objectives. NASA Associate Administrator Harry Holloway and DOE's Director of Energy Research Martha Krebs signed today's interagency agreement in a ceremony in Washington, DC. - end -

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