We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
Posted 09 August 2012 - 03:10 PM
The Radiation Belt Storm Probes
The Radiation Belt Storm Probe mission (RBSP) will explore the Van Allen Radiation Belts in the Earth's magnetosphere. The charge particles in these regions can be hazardous to both spacecraft and astronauts. The mission will explore space weather -- changes in Earth's space environment caused by the sun -- which can affect our technology.
"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001
NASA satellites to probe Earth's harsh radiation belts
A pair of spacecraft in suits of armor will brave one of the toughest environments in space when they launch later this month to study radiation around Earth.
NASA's Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) will fly through the thick belts of charged particles that encircle our planet to try to understand these dynamic environments. To withstand the damage such harsh radiation can inflict, the satellites are shrouded in strong layers of shielding.
The $670 million twin probes are due to launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket taking off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 4:08 a.m. on Aug. 23. Read more
New mission ready to brave Earth's radiation belts
The spacecraft are designed to fly and operate in the heart of the most hazardous regions of near-Earth space to collect crucial data. Read more