Posts Tagged ‘RBSP (Radiation Belt Storm Probes)’

Los Alamos Provides HOPE For Radiation Belt Storm Probes

August 31, 2012 Leave a comment

Los Alamos National Laboratory expertise in radiation detection and shielding is poised to help a national team of scientists better understand a mysterious region that can create hazardous space weather near our home planet.

The Helium Oxygen Proton Electron (HOPE) analyzer is one of a suite of instruments that was successfully launched today as part of the Radiation Belt Storm Probe mission—an effort by NASA and the Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory to gain insight into the Sun’s influence on Earth and near-Earth space by studying our planet’s radiation belt.

“Today we are boldly going where no spacecraft ever wants to go,” said plasma physicist Geoffrey Reeves of Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Intelligence and Space Research Division. “We know we’re going into the riskiest of environments, so we’ve taken the greatest steps ensure the satellites can complete their mission.”

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NASA Launches Radiation Belt Storm Probes Mission

August 30, 2012 Leave a comment

NASA’s Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP), the first twin-spacecraft mission designed to explore our planet’s radiation belts, launched into the predawn skies at 4:05a.m. EDT Thursday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

“Scientists will learn in unprecedented detail how the radiation belts are populated with charged particles, what causes them to change and how these processes affect the upper reaches of the atmosphere around Earth,” said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate at Headquarters in Washington. “The information collected from these probes will benefit the public by allowing us to better protect our satellites and understand how space weather affects communications and technology on Earth.”

The hardy RBSP satellites will spend the next 2 years looping through every part of both Van Allen belts. By having two spacecraft in different regions of the belts at the same time, scientists finally will be able to gather data from within the belts themselves, learning how they change over space and time.

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University Of Iowa Instruments Aboard Twin NASA Spacecraft Set For Launch Aug. 24

August 22, 2012 1 comment

On Aug. 24, NASA will launch two identical satellites from Cape Canaveral, Fla., to begin its Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) mission to study the extremes of space weather and help scientists improve space weather forecasts.

Why should you care?

Because, says a University of Iowa space physics researcher, if you’ve ever used a cell phone, traveled by plane, or stayed up late to catch a glimpse of the northern lights, then you have been affected by space weather without even knowing about it.

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NASA Radiation Belt Storm Probes To Launch, UNH Components Aboard

August 21, 2012 1 comment

At 4:07 a.m. Friday, August 24, NASA’s twin Radiation Belt Storm Probes are scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida on a two-year mission to investigate Earth’s hazardous radiation belt environment as never before. On board both spacecraft will be a host of scientific hardware and software from teams at the University of New Hampshire’s Space Science Center (SSC).

Harlan Spence, director of the UNH Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space, is lead scientist or “principal investigator” of the Energetic Particle, Composition, and Thermal Plasma (ECT) instrument suite on the twin spacecraft, and Roy Torbert, director of the SSC, is a co-investigator on the Electric and Magnetic Field Instrument Suite and Integrated Science (EMFISIS) experiment.

Collectively, the mission’s five instrument suites will make the most precise measurements to date of the high-energy particles and magnetic and electric fields and waves in this near-Earth region of space where “space weather” occurs and hundreds of spacecraft operate.

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CU-Boulder Researchers Gear Up For NASA Radiation Belt Space Mission

August 20, 2012 Leave a comment

The University of Colorado Boulder will play a key role in a NASA mission launching this week to study how space weather affects Earth’s two giant radiation belts known to be hazardous to satellites, astronauts and electronics systems on Earth.

The Radiation Belt Storm Probes, or RBSP, mission will study the invisible, doughnut-shaped regions above Earth known as the Van Allen radiation belts that are filled with high- energy electrons and protons, some of which are darting at roughly the speed of light. CU-Boulder, which will receive more than $18 million from NASA over the mission lifetime, designed and built an instrument to capture and measure the high-energy, or “killer,” electrons and an intricate electronics package for another instrument suite to measure changes in the electric and magnetic fields in the belts.

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NASA Sets Radiation Belt Storm Probes Mission Launch Events Coverage

August 10, 2012 Leave a comment

NASA’s Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) are set to launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket Aug. 23. The 20-minute launch window for the twin probes at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41 begins at 4:08 a.m. EDT.

Launch commentary coverage, as well as prelaunch media briefings, will be carried live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

RBSP will explore space weather — changes in Earth’s space environment caused by the sun — that can disable satellites, create power grid failures and disrupt GPS service. The mission also will allow researchers to understand fundamental radiation and particle acceleration processes throughout the universe.

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New NASA Mission Ready To Brave Earth’s Radiation Belts

NASA’s Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) mission will send two spacecraft into the harsh environment of our planet’s radiation belts. Final preparations have begun for launch on Thursday, Aug. 23, from Florida’s Space Coast.

The RBSP spacecraft are designed to fly and operate in the heart of the most hazardous regions of near-Earth space to collect crucial data. The data will help researchers develop an understanding of the Van Allen radiation belts, two rings of very high energy electrons and protons that can pose hazards to human and robotic explorers.

RBSP will help scientists understand how the invisible radiation belts — named for James Van Allen, who discovered them — behave and react to changes in the sun, thereby contributing to Earth’s space weather. Space weather is caused in great part by the sun’s influence on Earth and near-Earth space, including solar events such as giant eruptions of solar material called coronal mass ejections.

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