NASA’s Radiation Belt Storm Probes arrived at Kennedy Space Center on May 1. The two probes, built at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel MD and managed by Goddard Space Flight Center under the Living With a Star program, are scheduled for a predawn launch on August 23 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 rocket.

The two probes will be enter into nearly identical, eccentric orbits that cover the entire radiation belt region, lapping each other several times over the course of the two-year mission. Observations from the two probes will enable the development of empirical and physics-based models for the radiation belts. The empirical models will be used by engineers to design radiation-hardened electronics, while the physics-based models will be used by forecasters to predict space weather and alert astronauts and spacecraft operators to potential hazards.

 

Written by Astro1 on May 1st, 2012 , Planetary Defense, Space Medicine and Safety

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