A little over a year ago, the largest and most complex experiment ever launched into space was installed on the International Space Station. Its mission: to seek out antimatter – the mirror image of the matter that makes up the universe as we know it.
Weighing in at seven tonnes, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS-02) took 16 years and the efforts of 16 countries and some 600 physicists to build.
AMS-02 is the space equivalent of the massive particle detectors used by physicists at the Large Hadron Collider. But, instead of studying particles whooshed to colossal speeds by a man-made magnetic ring, AMS-02 looks for cosmic rays –particles accelerated by energetic events deep in the universe itself.