The astronauts who flew the latest mission of the Endeavour space shuttle landed in Geneva on Sunday, 22 July. They are making a scientific and tourist visit organized by CERN and supported by, among others, Genève Aéroport. On 24 July, as part of the event, commander Mark Kelly, pilot Gregory Johnson, and mission specialists Roberto Vittori, Michael Fincke, Andrew Feustel, and Gregory Chamitoff will relive their extraordinary mission for the public at a conference open to everyone. Feet on the ground, head in the stars!
That these extraordinary men are spending some days in Geneva owes nothing to chance. In fact, the Endeavour space shuttle, when it took off from Cape Canaveral on 16 May 2011, was carrying on board an Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), which searches for dark matter and antimatter. And that AMS, which had mobilized many top scientists, including a Nobel Prize winner, for more than 15 years, was made at CERN.
It was then taken by a 22-meter long special vehicle to Genève Aéroport, where a C5 Galaxy, the only plane that can accommodate a load that big, flew it to the Kennedy Space Centre, Florida. Its size and special loading requirements had also demanded lengthy preparations and first-class coordination between the various partners of the airport.
Since then, the cosmic particle detector has been installed on the ISS International Space Station and has been sending its data back from space to CERN.
Now back from mission STS 134, the astronauts will hold a public conference at 20:30 on Tuesday, 24 July at the Théâtre du Leman in Geneva.
Admission is free, but registration is required: firstname.lastname@example.org
Some pictures on our Facebook page!
copyright: CERN 2012