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Change In Experiment Will Delay Shuttle Launch 64

necro81 writes "A $1.5 billion gamma ray experiment, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, that was to have launched aboard the space shuttle Endeavor to the International Space Station in July, has undergone a last minute design change that will change the launch date, pushing back the end of the shuttle program by at least several months. The change replaces the original liquid helium-cooled superconducting magnet with a more conventional one, which will reduce the risks involved (superconducting magnets can be problematic — just ask CERN) and will greatly extend the useful life of the spectrometer (the liquid helium coolant would have boiled away within a few years of launch). Although the conventional electromagnet is only 1/5th as strong, its increased lifespan should allow for substantially more science to be conducted, especially considering the ISS's extended mission life. As the change is still underway, the impact to the final shuttle schedule is not fully known."
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Change In Experiment Will Delay Shuttle Launch

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  • Re:Seriously? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kestasjk ( 933987 ) * on Sunday April 25, 2010 @08:30PM (#31979480) Homepage
    Sounds like it'll mean more science and less risks. If he had wanted to delay to fix the magnets that caused the quench in the LHC would you have called him a whackjob then?
  • Re:Oh please (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TheSHAD0W ( 258774 ) on Sunday April 25, 2010 @08:47PM (#31979592) Homepage

    Um, please remind me, how did they orbit the Hubble?

  • Re:Seriously? (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 25, 2010 @09:22PM (#31979772)

    there is nothing wrong with the cryo magnets. redesigning a finished project delayed 10 years is stupidity at its finest. it wont mean more science cuz it wont work and its moar risks not less.

  • Re:Seriously? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by drerwk ( 695572 ) on Sunday April 25, 2010 @09:27PM (#31979794) Homepage
    Look up Gravity B; 43 years from NASA funding to launch. I won't read the details, but higher B field usually means higher resolution in mass spectrometry. Maybe longer life will make up for it; but a 0 field forever will tell you nothing.
  • by gyrogeerloose ( 849181 ) on Sunday April 25, 2010 @10:39PM (#31980146) Journal

    Submitter is a moron who does not know what he is talking about.

    If you're going make that sort of statement, you could at least:

    1. Offer up some evidence to back up your statement. A link would do.

    2. Sign your fucking name to it.

    Thank you,

    The Internet

  • Re:Oh please (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Areyoukiddingme ( 1289470 ) on Monday April 26, 2010 @12:26PM (#31985570)

    The above "cost analysis" was hyperbole pulled out of the poster's ass. Your delicious understatement of the benefits of having 9 simultaneously operational Hubble telescopes only underlines the hyperbole. No worse off? Try fantastically well off. Astronomers would be giddy for months for the chance to gain access to such an armada.

    I'm not especially pleased by the ridiculous expense of the Shuttle, or the welfare for engineers that it represents, but on the other hand I believe that any organization not practicing an activity rapidly becomes incapable of that activity and has to relearn it from scratch if someone wants to resume that activity. Going around in circles for the last 20 years at least kept our hand in. There is still a crowd of people who know how to do manned space flight, and prove it on a semiannual basis. If we hadn't been doing it, you could say definitively that we wouldn't really know how.

    There's some argument to be made that the way NASA goes about it, they don't really know how either, but that's another problem...

  • Re:Seriously? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 26, 2010 @02:38PM (#31987178)

    I think that Dr. Ting and his associates should get tuned in to reality. This is the second time around for this experiment. They are holding up billions of dollars in tax payers money for a launch that was prepared a long time ago. Life has to go on. Maybe they should look else where to get this thing to ISS? Perhaps one of the unmanned cargo flights?

    If they can't be on this bus then find another way. Why should things get held up because they can't make up their minds?

The IQ of the group is the lowest IQ of a member of the group divided by the number of people in the group.