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  25-03-2005: PAMELA READY FO MATTER-ANTIMATTER RESEARCH IN THE SPACE 
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PAMELA “Payload for Antimatter Matter Exploration and Light-nuclei Astrophysics”, the Italian instrument that will explore for first antimatter and dark matter from Space, is finally ready to be integrated on the satellite and prepared to be launched.
For this reason on March 29th the equipment will be moved from the Infn Department of Tor Vergata University, where it was planned and realized, to the TsSKB-Progress laboratories in Russia, in Samara. Here it will be installed on the Russian satellite Resurs-DK1 and then moved to the Bajkonour in Kazakhstan, where it will be launched next autumn. It will reach a near polar elliptic orbit between 300 and 600 kilometres in height.

PAMELA, that will operate for at least three years, is the result of an international collaboration, coordinated by the Italian Institute of Nuclear Physics. Italian Space Agency participates in the project with the contribution of the German, Swedish and Russian space agencies.

PAMELA’s aim is investigating the fascinating issue of antimatter and dark matter, studying cosmic rays. Cosmic rays are energetic particles of different nature coming from Space and carrying important information on the cosmic source that generated them, and as a consequence, on its origin and evolution.


In particular Pamela will measure flux, energy and characteristics of galactic, interplanetary and solar cosmic rays with a precision ever reached before and making possible remarkable progresses in this important and young field of astrophysics.
Thanks to the sophisticated equipment of Pamela, it will be possible for the first time to make observations of long period, avoiding atmosphere’s interference, cosmic rays interact with. Only instruments settled on stratospheric balloon, and once also on the Space Shuttle, traced this kind of data, but only for a short period.
Furthermore Pamela will provide with information on energetic particles generated by the Sun and on their interaction with the Earth magnetic field.

“Pamela” says Piegiorgio Picozza, director of Inf section of Tor Vergata, who coordinated the activity of Infn sections of Florence, Naples, Trieste, Bari, National Laboratories of Frascati, and of the international collaboration, “is at the moment the most advanced instrument for the study of antimatter, dark matter and cosmic rays in general, and it is the result of the common work realized by a large number of researchers, mainly young. The moment Pamela will get into orbit, next autumn, will crown a long period of researches in the Space realized by our group in these last years”.

The instrument is nearly 500 kilos, its dimensions are the ones of a parallelepiped tall 1,3 meters and with a base of 75x75 centimetres. It is formed essentially by a large magnet supplied with a remarkable number of detectors which are able to recognize particles, trace their track and measure their energy. Sophisticated electronic devices for detectors’ reading, equipment management, and connection with communication systems of the satellite complete the apparatus.

Pamela is one of the elements of the Asi programme dedicated to the high energies that includes important contributions to the realization of the Anti Matter Spectometer (Ams) for the study of cosmic rays from the Space Station and other projects of new generation. Most of these programmes are the result of the close collaboration between Asi and Infn that allows Italy to be in the van in the field of astrophysics of high energies.


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