With a few hours of being attached to the outside of the space station, AMS was sending down huge amounts of data, recording the footprints of thousands of cosmic ray particles.
"The detector has 300,000 channels in the electronics, 650 microprocessors and the detectors are aligned to (an accuracy of) one-tenth of a human hair," Ting told reporters. "We immediately checked all the detectors, everything functioned properly. Not a single one was broken, not a single electronic channel was malfunctioning. Right away, we began to see an enormous amount of data coming down."
AMS is designed to operate as long as the space station flies - at least 10 years and possibly 20.
"We hope we will able to make an important contribution to our understanding of the origin of the universe," Ting said. "We're entering into a region nobody has entered before, what we will see, nobody knows."
Image: Special delivery - Shuttle Endeavour astronauts use cranes to attach the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer to the outside of the space station. Credit: Spaceflightnow.com