NASA hosted a two-day event for 50 social media followers on August 22-23, 2012, at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA's twin Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) are scheduled to lift off aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at 4:08 a.m. on August 23. Designed for a two-year primary science mission in orbit around Earth, RBSP will provide insight into our planet's radiation belts, and help scientists predict changes in this critical region of space.
NASA's Radiation Belt Storm Probes blasted off from Cape Canaveral on August 30th, 2012. Bristling with sensors, the heavily-shielded spacecraft are on a 2-year mission to discover what makes the radiation belts so dangerous and so devilishly unpredictable.
"We've known about the Van Allen Belts for decades yet they continue to surprise us with unexpected storms of 'killer electrons' and other phenomena," says mission scientist David Sibeck, "The Storm Probes will help us understand what's going on out there."
See: The Radiation Belt Storm ProbesEach of the two Storm Probes is bristling with sensors to count energetic particles, measure plasma waves, and detect electromagnetic radiation. Learn more