Spacecraft: Radiation Belt Storm Probes Launch Vehicle: Atlas V-401 Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. Launch Pad: Space Launch Complex-41 Launch Date: Aug. 30, 2012 Launch Time: 4:05 a.m. EDT
Image above: NASA's Radiation Belt Storm Probes, or RBSP, lift off Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. Image credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann › View larger image
Successful Liftoff Begins Unprecedented Study of Radiation Belts NASA's two-year Radiation Belt Storm Probes mission began Aug. 30, 2012 with an early morning launch from Space Launch Complex-41 on Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The twin probes rode into orbit aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket after a smooth countdown that saw no significant technical problems or weather concerns.
RBSP Prelaunch Webcast: Twin Spacecraft to Study the Sun's Influence on Earth Two wide rings of high-intensity particles encircle our planet's equator. Known as the Van Allen Radiation Belts, their behavior in response to the sun directly impacts life on Earth and in orbit. NASA's two-year Radiation Belt Storm Probes mission aims to study this ever-changing space environment in greater detail than ever before.