The space shuttle Endeavour for the last time went into space.


During this event, watched hundreds of thousands of spectators. The ship will deliver to the International Space Station unit cost of $ 2 billion, known as the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (MAS), as well as spare parts for it.

Upon returning Endeavour, the only active ship of the American Space Agency (NASA) will be Atlantis, which will go into their final mission in July.

At the end of the 30-year space shuttle program, America will use the Russian Union to deliver astronauts to the ISS.

It is planned that the commercial space transport will be available by 2015.

NASA will pay for the transportation of these cosmic "taxi". This would mark a significant change in the device space agency. It will no longer use their ships to fly into low Earth orbit.

Released funds, NASA plans to use for the development of new space flight systems to more distant objects such as the moon, asteroids and Mars.

To do this, the shuttle, it will be 25 flight. Common path that he took during his service, has 166 million kilometers - more than the distance from the Earth to the Sun.

Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (MAS) was preparing to run for 17 years, the efforts of the international team of researchers from 16 countries.

This device will be installed on the ISS for a detailed study of cosmic rays. These high-energy particles coming to Earth from all corners of the cosmos.

Scientists hope that studying these particles will help you find answers to questions that are fighting on Earth, creating particle accelerators: how did the universe and how it works?

According to the supervisor, Professor Sam Ting, this cosmic experiment will go far beyond the capabilities of ground-based technology.

"The highest-energy particles coming from outer space," - he said. "No matter how large an accelerator you build on Earth, it is impossible to compete with cosmic rays." These particles are absorbed by the atmosphere, so the only way to learn them is to intercept them in orbit.

Original: BBC

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