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May 17, 2017: NASA's Van Allen Probes Spot Man-Made Barrier Shrouding Earth
Humans have long been shaping Earth’s landscape, but now scientists know we can shape our near-space environment as well. A certain type of communications — very low frequency, or VLF, radio communications — have been found to interact with particles in space, affecting how and where they move.

March 15, 2017: Relativistic Electrons Uncovered with NASA's Van Allen Probes
Earth's radiation belts, two doughnut-shaped regions of charged particles encircling our planet, were discovered more than 50 years ago, but their behavior is still not completely understood. Now, new observations from NASA's Van Allen Probes mission show that the fastest, most energetic electrons in the inner radiation belt are not present as much of the time as previously thought.

May 19, 2016: Van Allen Probes Reveal Long-term Behavior of Earth's Ring Current
New findings based on a year's worth of observations have revealed that the ring current - an electrical current carried by energetic ions that encircles our planet - behaves in a much different way than previously understood.

April 26, 2016: Article: How 'Killer Electrons' in Space Can Wreak Havoc on Earth
PC Mag asks: "We have warning systems for hurricanes and tornadoes, so why not have the same for bad weather in space?" The article highlights a portion of the Van Allen team's space weather research.

March 25, 2016: Radiation Belt Processes in a Declining Solar Cycle
A new article by the Van Allen Probes team in EOS magazine looks at the extended mission and how it will continue to advance understanding of Earth's radiation belts.

February 25, 2016: Study Finds Surprising Variability in Shape of Van Allen Belts
The shape of the two Van Allen Belts could be quite different than has been believed for decades, according to a new study of data from NASA's Van Allen Probes that was released Friday in the Journal of Geophysical Research.

January 19, 2016: Van Allen Probes Revolutionize View of Radiation Belts
A new study of data from NASA's Van Allen Probes reveals that the shape of the belts can vary from a single, continuous belt with no slot region, to a larger inner belt with a smaller outer belt, to no inner belt at all.

September 1, 2015: Van Allen Probes Celebrate Third Anniversary of Launch and Extended Mission
The probes have collected groundbreaking data on the two radiation belts that surround Earth and have revealed intriguing new details on the sun's influence on our planet.

June 30, 2015: NASA Signs Scientific and Education Agreements with Brazil
NASA and the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB) have signed agreements to further research into heliophysics and space weather. The agreements will also enable Brazil to acquire and process space weather data from NASA's Van Allen Probes.

February 19, 2015: Van Allen Probes Catch Solar Shockwave in the Act for the First Time
Scientists at MIT's Haystack Observatory and elsewhere have analyzed data from NASA's Van Allen Probes, and observed a sudden and dramatic effect in the aftermath of a solar shockwave: The resulting magnetosonic pulse accelerated certain particles to ultrahigh energies.

December 1, 2014: Van Allen Probes Spot an Impenetrable Barrier in Space
Two donuts of seething radiation that surround Earth, called the Van Allen radiation belts, have been found to contain a nearly impenetrable barrier that prevents the fastest, most energetic electrons from reaching Earth.

August 29, 2014: Two Years After Launch, NASA's Van Allen Probes Deliver New Science and Findings
After lifting off on August 30, 2012, the twin probes have delivered a wealth of data that has resulted in numerous discoveries, all of which have increased our understanding of these fascinating regions of space.

August 29, 2014: NASA Probes Studying Earth's Radiation Belts to Celebrate Two Year Anniversary
The twin Van Allen Probes will celebrate on Saturday two years of studying the sun's influence on our planet and near-Earth space.

July 15, 2014: NASA's Van Allen Probes Show How to Accelerate Electrons
One of the great, unanswered questions for space weather scientists is just what creates the radiation belts. Recent data from the Van Allen Probes address this question.

April 23, 2014: Van Allen Probes Achieves Mission Success
On March 26, 2014, NASA declared the Van Allen Probes mission - launched in 2012, and designed to explore and unlock the mysteries of Earth's radiation belts - an official success.

March 19, 2014: Van Allen Probes Reveal New "Zebra Stripes" Structure in Earth's Inner Radiation Belt
Scientists have discovered a new, persistent structure in Earth's inner radiation belt using data from the twin NASA Van Allen Probes spacecraft. Most surprisingly, this structure is produced by the slow rotation of Earth.

March 7, 2014: New Van Allen Probes Observations Helping To Improve Space Weather Models
Using data from the Van Allen Probes, researchers have tested and improved a model to help forecast what's happening in the radiation environment of near-Earth space.

December 18, 2013: Scientists solve a decades-old mystery of Earth's Van Allen radiation belts
New research using data from NASA’s Van Allen Probes mission helps resolve decades of scientific uncertainty over the origin of ultra-relativistic electrons in the Earth’s near space environment, and is likely to influence our understanding of planetary magnetospheres throughout the universe.

September 27, 2013: Ultra-fast Electrons Explain Third Radiation Ring Around Earth
In the already complicated science of what creates - and causes constant change in - the radiation belts surrounding Earth, researchers have announced that some of the electrons reach such enormous energies that they are driven by an entirely different set of physical processes.

August 30, 2013: Van Allen Probes Mark One Year In Orbit
NASA's Van Allen Probes launched on Aug. 30, 2012 on a mission to unlock the mysteries of the Van Allen radiation belts. Their first year has resulted in surprise discoveries and better understanding of this mysterious and hazardous region of space.

August 12, 2013: The Sun's Magnetic Field is About to Flip
The sun's global magnetic field is about to flip, a sign that Solar Max has arrived – and the Van Allen Probes will help answer how this event will affect space weather and the radiation belts.

July 25, 2013: Van Allen Probes Discover Particle Accelerator in Heart of Van Allen radiation belts
Scientists have discovered a massive particle accelerator in the heart of one of the harshest regions of near-Earth space, a region of super-energetic, charged particles surrounding the globe called the Van Allen radiation belts.

June 21, 2013: How did a third radiation belt appear in the Earth's upper atmosphere?
In new research, the radiation belt group in the UCLA Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences explains the development of the newly-discovered third belt and its decay over a period of slightly more than four weeks.

June 11, 2013: Updated Van Allen Probes Fact Sheet
New versions of the Van Allen Probes fact sheet—including information about the discovery of a temporary third radiation belt—are now available in both high- and low-resolution.

June 11, 2013: Coverage of the 2013 Space Weather Enterprise Forum
Live tweets from the presentations on space weather at the 2013 Space Weather Enterprise Forum, held at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on June 4, 2013.

April 16, 2013: Dartmouth Space Physicists Explore Earth's Radiation Belts with Van Allen Probes Data
Learn how Dartmouth physicists Mary Hudson and Robyn Millan are studying the Van Allen radiation belts with data from NASA's Van Allen Probes and from balloons launched from Antarctica in this "Darthmouth Now" feature article.

February 28, 2013: Van Allen Probes Reveal A New Radiation Belt Around Earth
NASA's Van Allen Probes mission has discovered a previously unknown third radiation belt around Earth

February 25, 2013: NASA Announces Media Briefing on New Van Allen Probes Results
NASA will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. EST, Thursday, Feb. 28, to discuss new observations from NASA's twin Van Allen Probes, which are studying Earth's radiation belts. The briefing will be held at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md.

January 10, 2013: Van Allen Probes featured in "National Geographic at 125" program; airs Fri., Jan. 11 at 8pm EST, National Geographic Channel
See new footage and learn more about NASA's Van Allen Probes mission - and other stories of amazing scientific exploration - in the "National Geographic at 125" special airing on the National Geographic Channel.

December 5, 2012: NASA's Van Allen Probes Reveal New Dynamics of Earth's Radiation Belts
Just 96 days since their launch, the Van Allen Probes have already provided new insights into the structure and behavior of the radiation belts that surround Earth.

December 4, 2012: Presenter Materials From Van Allen Probes Press Conference at AGU 2012
The presentations from "New Findings, New Enigmas: NASA's Van Allen Probes Begin their Exploration of the Radiation Belts," given on Dec. 4 2012, are now available for download.

November 30, 2012: Press Conference at AGU 2012 Fall Meeting to Discuss First Findings from the Van Allen Probes
Scientists from NASA's Van Allen Probes mission will discuss some of their first findings at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) 2012 Fall Meeting in San Francisco, Ca. on Tue., Dec. 4 at 8:00 a.m. PST.

November 9, 2012: NASA Renames Mission to Honor James Van Allen, Pioneering Physicist and APL Trailblazer
NASA has officially renamed the recently launched mission to study Earth's radiation belts the Van Allen Probes, in honor of the late James Van Allen.

November 8, 2012: NASA Ceremony to Rename Twin Radiation Belt Spacecraft
A ceremony to announce the renaming of NASA's Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) will take place Nov. 9 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 pm EST, at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md.

November 1, 2012: RBSP Completes Commissioning Phase
On Oct. 28, NASA's twin Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) completed their 60-day commissioning phase, and began their two-year primary science mission to explore our planet's radiation belts, named for their discoverer, James Van Allen.

October 11, 2012: A Pioneering Anniversary
Today marks the 54th anniversary of the launch of NASA's first spacecraft, Pioneer 1, which (along with Pioneer 3) provided data from near-Earth space that contributed to James Van Allen's first characterization of the structure of the inner radiation belt. See a pre-launch photo here and learn more here.

September 12, 2012: Up And Running: Just Hours After Launch, RBSP Takes First Science Steps
RBSP has begun its 60-day commissioning phase of operations, where all of the spacecrafts' systems and instruments are activated, monitored, and made ready for the two-year primary science mission.

September 7, 2012: Marking The 98th Anniversary Of James Van Allen's Birth
On this day in 1914, James A. Van Allen was born in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. To learn about the life and legacy of the man who led the team that discovered Earth's radiation belts, visit the University of Iowa's excellent compendium of materials here.

August 31, 2012: Two New Videos of RBSP Launch and Post-Launch Press Conference
Two NASA TV videos feature the launch and deployment of the RBSP spacecraft, and a post-launch press conference covering the successful launch and initial operations of the twin probes.

August 30, 2012: NASA Successfully Launches Radiation Belt Storm Probes
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 4:05 a.m. EDT from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

August 30, 2012: Liftoff Begins Unprecedented Study of Radiation Belts
At 4:05 a.m. EDT today, NASA launched the twin RBSP spacecraft from Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

August 27, 2012: RBSP Roll-Out To Launch Pad Scheduled For Aug. 30 Launch
The roll-out of the mobile launch platform carrying the Atlas V rocket and the twin RBSP spacecraft has been scheduled for 2:30 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, Aug. 28. This will bring the launch vehicle out of the Vehicle Integration Facility and to the launch pad at Launch Complex-41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. RBSP is scheduled to launch at 4:05 a.m. EDT on Thursday, Aug. 30.

August 25, 2012: RBSP Launch Targeted for No Earlier Than Aug. 30
The launch of an Atlas V carrying NASA's Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) payload was scrubbed today due to weather conditions associated with lightning, as well as cumulus and anvil clouds. With the unfavorable weather forecast as a result of Tropical Storm Isaac, the leadership team has decided to roll the Atlas V vehicle back to the Vertical Integration Facility to ensure the launch vehicle and twin RBSP spacecraft are secured and protected from inclement weather. Pending approval from the range, the launch is rescheduled to Thursday, Aug. 30 at 4:05 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

August 25, 2012: RBSP Launch Rescheduled For Aug. 26
Because of weather rule violations, managers have halted today's attempted launch of the Atlas V rocket carrying NASA's Radiation Belt Storm Probes. The launch team is resetting for a 24-hour recycle. Liftoff on Sunday would occur at 4:07 a.m. EDT at the start of a 20-minute launch window. There is a 40 percent chance of acceptable weather for Sunday.

August 25, 2012: Today's RBSP Launch Attempt Has Been Scrubbed
Numerous weather violations resulted in the scrub of today's planned launch of the Radiation Belt Storm Probes. Details about rescheduling will be posted when available.

August 24, 2012: Join Us Overnight for the Aug. 25 RBSP Launch Countdown
CAPE CANAVERAL--NASA launch managers have rescheduled liftoff of the United Launch Alliance Atlas V/Radiation Belt Storm Probes mission from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex-41 for 4:07 a.m. EDT Saturday at the start of a 20-minute launch window. The decision followed a series of meetings to evaluate "out-of-family" readings in the signal of a C-Band tracking device linking the Atlas V rocket and ground-based range equipment that caused a scrub early Friday morning. The C-Band Transponder is one of several systems used to track the vehicle after launch for range safety purposes. Join us for live countdown coverage starting at 2:30 a.m. NASA TV will feature full televised coverage at http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv while blogger Steve Siceloff provides updates from the Launch Vehicle Data Center on NASA's Launch Blog at http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/rbsp/launch/launch_blog.html.

August 24, 2012: RBSP Launch Rescheduled for Aug. 25
Friday's planned launch of NASA's Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) was delayed at least 24 hours when the Eastern Range reported a drift in the signal of a C-Band transponder aboard the Atlas V rocket. It is not yet known if the issue was in the ground-based range detection equipment or in the Atlas V transponder.The C-Band is one of several systems used to track the vehicle after launch, and it is mandatory for it to operate prior to liftoff. Because of the limited 20-minute launch window, the launch team was not able to determine the cause of the signal drift before the window expired. Managers have set up for a 24-hour recycle, pending clearance of the issue. Launch is targeted for the opening of a 20-minute launch window at 4:07 a.m. EDT on Saturday.At this time, the Atlas rocket is being safed and propellants removed. When those operations are complete, C-Band beacon troubleshooting will begin. If the issue is found to be on the Atlas transponder, it may be necessary to replace the hardware.NASA and United Launch Alliance managers will know more within a few hours, after the troubleshooting has been completed.

August 24, 2012: Today's RBSP Launch Has Been Scrubbed
Tomorrow's launch window opens at 4:07 a.m. EDT for 20 minutes, same as today's. Details will be posted as they become available.

August 24, 2012: RBSP Continues Progress Toward 4:07 a.m. EDT Launch
CAPE CANAVERAL--The Atlas V first stage and Centaur upper stage have been fueled for the planned launch at 4:07 a.m. EDT of NASA's Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP). The Atlas V burns refined kerosene fuel, known as RP-1, mixed with liquid oxygen. The Centaur uses liquid hydrogen for fuel, mixed with liquid oxygen. The Centaur will ignite after the Atlas V first stage burns its propellants and falls away, about four minutes after liftoff. Weather continues to be favorable and there are no technical problems. At 3:38 a.m., the countdown will hold at the T-4 minute mark for 25 minutes.

August 23, 2012: Join NASA Overnight for the RBSP Launch Countdown
NASA's two-year Radiation Belt Storm Probes mission is slated to begin early Friday morning with a ride to orbit aboard the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. Liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex-41 is set for 4:07 a.m. EDT at the start of a 20-minute launch window. Join us for live countdown coverage starting at 1:30 a.m. NASA TV will feature full televised coverage at http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv while blogger Steve Siceloff provides updates from the Launch Vehicle Data Center on NASA's Launch Blog at http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/rbsp/launch/launch_blog.html.

August 23, 2012: RBSP Teams Preparing for Overnight Launch Countdown
At Space Launch Complex-41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, there is relatively minor activity at the pad today as personnel rest for the overnight countdown to liftoff of NASA's Radiation Belt Storm Probes. Countdown preparations will begin tonight at 8:52 p.m. EDT. The weather forecast continues to reflect a 70 percent chance of meeting the launch weather criteria.Note: Live coverage of the RBSP launch will begin on NASA TV at 1:30 a.m. EDT on Friday, Aug. 24.

August 23, 2012: MEDIA ALERT: Deadline Extended for Media to Register to Join Mission Operators on August 24
Opportunities for D.C/Baltimore local media to watch APL mission control operations for RBSP launch.

August 22, 2012: RBSP Moves to Launch Pad, and Weather Outlook Improves
The rollout of the Atlas V rocket with NASA's Radiation Belt Storm Probes spacecraft began on schedule at 8 a.m. EDT, reaching the pad at Space Launch Complex-41 at 8:35 a.m. The launch weather forecast has improved to a 70 percent chance of meeting the weather criteria for liftoff.

August 22, 2012: RBSP, Atlas V is "Go" for Launch

August 21, 2012: Booster Engine Actuator Testing Complete; Launch Readiness Review Today
For the upcoming launch of NASA's Radiation Belt Storm Probes, testing of the Atlas V RD180 booster engine actuator was completed last night at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

August 20, 2012: New RBSP Launch Date: Friday, Aug. 24
The launch of RBSP aboard an Atlas V rocket has been rescheduled for 4:07 a.m. EDT on Friday, Aug. 24, to allow for an assessment of the launch vehicle rocket. More details will be provided as they become available.

August 17, 2012: NASA's RBSP Press Kit Now Available
The official RBSP Press Kit is now available for download.

August 9, 2012: NASA's RBSP 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.

August 9, 2012: NASA RBSP News Conference: 2 pm EDT - Watch Live on NASA TV
NASA will hold a news conference at 2 pm EDT, Thursday, Aug. 9 to discuss the upcoming launch of the Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP), a mission to study Earth's radiation belts. The event will be broadcast live on NASA Television and streamed on the agency's website.

July 16, 2012: New Time-lapse Videos Track Solar Array Deployment Tests
In three new time-compressed videos (note: no sound), the July 5 deployments of one of RBSP spacecraft A's solar arrays, and the attached Electric and Magnetic Field Instrument Suite and Integrated Science (EMFISIS) magnetometer boom, are tested.

July 11, 2012: As Launch Draws Closer, RBSP Achieves Milestones and Announces Events
NASA's Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) mission continues to make steady progress toward its scheduled launch date of Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012.

May 1, 2012: NASA's Radiation Belt Storm Probes Arrive at Kennedy Space Center
The twin Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) safely arrived at 7:54 a.m. EDT on May 1 at the Kennedy Space Center, Fla., where they are scheduled for an August 23 launch to begin their mission to study the extremes of space weather.

April 3, 2012: RBSP Completes Thermal Vacuum Testing
NASA's Radiation Belt Storm Probes have completed their thermal vacuum testing today, Tuesday April 3, one day earlier than planned. Thermal vacuum testing, which includes the cycling of temperatures between extremes of hot and cold, represents the culmination of the several severe tests that the spacecraft engineers use to assure that the spacecraft can survive the rigors of outer space.

March 19, 2012: Time Traveling: Simulation Creates '10 Days in the Life' of RBSP, circa 2013
With the integration and testing of NASA's Radiation Belt Storm Probes complete, and the twin spacecraft sealed within thermal vacuum testing chambers for six weeks of rigorous space environment simulation, another part of the RBSP team is busy ensuring that the spacecraft will successfully perform their science gathering mission after launch in August 2012.

February 7, 2012: It's All in the Swing: RBSP Undergoes Magnetic Swing Test
NASA's Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP), twin spacecraft being built and tested at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., are about to enter a challenging series of tests designed to certify that they are ready for their August 2012 launch and two-year mission in Earth's orbit. The coordinated measurements of the two RBSP spacecraft will advance our understanding of space weather and the sun's influence on the Earth and near-Earth space by probing the planet's radiation belts, which affect space weather and spacecraft operations.

December 5, 2011: NASA's Radiation Belt Storm Probes Ready for Space Environment Tests
NASA's Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP), twin spacecraft being built and tested at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., are about to enter a challenging series of tests designed to certify that they are ready for their August 2012 launch and two-year mission in Earth's orbit. The coordinated measurements of the two RBSP spacecraft will advance our understanding of space weather and the sun's influence on the Earth and near-Earth space by probing the planet's radiation belts, which affect space weather and spacecraft operations.

October 4, 2011: RBSP Spins Up Two Test Successes
NASA's RBSP mission recently made another significant step forward toward its scheduled launch in August 2012, thanks to the successful testing of the mass properties of spacecraft A by the RBSP team at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL).

News CenterIn The Loop Archive

A behind the scenes look at the Van Allen Probes mission.

October 9, 2013: In the Loop: Van Allen Probes Provide Way to "Watch" Juno Fly-by
The Van Allen Probes team at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) has created a visualization that provides a way to "watch" today's fly-by of NASA's Juno spacecraft and the current space weather above Earth.

June 21, 2013: In the Loop: Van Allen Probes Team Member Selected For NASA Astronaut Training
For years, APL's Christina Hammock created complex scientific instruments bound for space. Now, as one of eight new NASA astronaut candidates, she has her own chance to explore the stars.

November 21, 2012: In The Loop: NASA Renames Mission to Honor Pioneering Physicist James Van Allen (video)
Watch video of the Nov. 9 event at which NASA renamed the recently launched mission to study Earth's radiation belts the Van Allen Probes, in honor of the late James Van Allen.

November 15, 2012: In The Loop: "The Van Allen Probes: Honoring the Origins of Magnetospheric Science"
A new NASA article explores the history of radiation belt research and James Van Allen, and explores the theories that the Van Allen Probes will help scientists investigate.

October 9, 2012: In The Loop: Space Math @ NASA Poses RBSP and "Chorus" Math Problems for Students
Can you use simple graphing techniques, a compass, and the Pythagorean Theorem to roughly triangulate the position of the "chorus" sounds above our Earth? RBSP's scientists are doing similar work as they study these mysterious, bird-like noises in the Van Allen radiation belts. Try the Science Math @ NASA problems here.

October 5, 2012: In The Loop: RBSP's Instruments Continue to Come to Life
On Wed., Oct 3, the doors to both Helium Oxygen Proton Electron (HOPE) instruments (one of the three instruments that make up the Energetic Particle, Composition, and Thermal Plasma Suite, or ECT) were opened on the twin RBSP spacecraft. Software has been loaded onto several other instruments, and all of the science instrument teams are busy making adjustments and fine-tuning their instruments as the mission continues to proceed.

October 2, 2012: In The Loop: News from NASA Science as RBSP Records "Earthsong"
RBSP has provided researchers with the clearest recording ever made of an electromagnetic phenomenon known as "chorus," which is "thought to be one of the most important waves for energizing the electrons that make up the outer radiation belt," says EMFISIS Principal Investigator Craig Kletzing. Read the NASA Science article here.

September 12, 2012: In the Loop: "It couldn't have been scripted any better": New RBSP Instrument Telemetry Provides "Textbook" Excitement
Just under two days after the 4:05 a.m. EDT launch of RBSP, an instrument from the Energetic Particle, Composition, and Thermal Plasma Suite (ECT) began returning "highly understandable, full science data right out of the box."

September 12, 2012: The Sounds of Space: New "Chorus" Recording By RBSP's EMFISIS Instrument
Researchers from the EMFISIS team at the University of Iowa have released a new recording of an intriguing and well-known phenomenon known as "chorus," made on Sept. 5, 2012.

August 29, 2012: In the Loop: RBSP Educator Workshop Draws 31 Teachers From 21 States
The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory hosted a workshop earlier this month that drew teachers and educators from almost half the states to learn about the mission first-hand from the engineers and scientists who designed it.

August 28, 2012: In the Loop: "Building the RBSP Spacecraft" - New Movie Chronicles Design and Construction of Twin Spacecraft
NASA needed two tough spacecraft equipped with the best instrumentation ever flown into the hazardous radiation belts. Building those RBSP spacecraft with enough protection and flexibility to survive the belts was the challenge that faced the team at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md.

August 28, 2012: In the Loop: Picture Perfect - RBSP and Florida Storm Clouds
One of the most powerful photos of RBSP prior to launch is this stunning image of the spacecraft and their Atlas V launch vehicle as a storm approaches, taken after the first roll out on Aug. 22, 2012 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex-41.

August 22, 2012: In the Loop: "What are the Radiation Belts?" - New Movie Explains Mysterious Near-Earth Regions
Giving scientists the data they need to understand how the radiation belts change and operate is RBSP's primary science goal. But just what are the radiation belts? Check out this new video that explains the mysterious belts of highly-charged particles that surround our planet.

August 8, 2012: In the Loop: RBSP Encapsulation
On Monday, August 6, the RBSP stacked spacecraft were encapsulated with the fairing in which they will ride atop the ULA Atlas V 401 launch vehicle.

August 6, 2012: In the Loop: NASA Administrator Charles Bolden Visits RBSP
On Thursday, Aug. 2, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Kennedy Space Center Director Robert Cabana met with the Radiation Belt Storm Probes team and visited the stacked spacecraft.

August 6, 2012: In the Loop: Pennsylvania Students Take a 'Virtual Field Trip' to the RBSP Clean Room
When RBSP technician Alan Busbey, working in Florida, was asked to speak to his son's fifth-grade class - located 900 miles away - about his work this May, he had to get creative.

August 1, 2012: In the Loop: New RBSP Fact Sheet Now Available
Get the latest information on NASA's Radiation Belt Storm Probes mission with the new RBSP Fact Sheet, available here.

July 27, 2012: In the Loop: New Questions, New Answers from the RBSP Team
We've just added more than 40 new interviews to our "Conversations With the Team" interactive Q&A page.

July 18, 2012: In the Loop: "The Electric Atmosphere: Plasma Is Next NASA Science Target"
Two giant donuts of plasma surround Earth, trapped within a region known as the Van Allen radiation belts. RBSP will improve our understanding of what makes plasma move in and out of these electrified belts.

July 9, 2012: In the Loop: Looking Back at Telstar, Looking Ahead to RBSP
The 50th anniversary of the launch of the Telstar I satellite - which was eventually damaged by radiation from the Van Allen belts - will be celebrated with a series of speakers including Louis Lanzerotti, Principal Investigator for the Radiation Belt Storm Probes Ion Composition Experiment (RBSPICE).

July 5, 2012: In the Loop: Happy Fourth of July from the RBSP Team
With less than 50 days until scheduled launch on August 23, 2012, the RBSP team is hard at work preparing the spacecraft - but they did take a few minutes to pose for a holiday photo.

July 3, 2012: In the Loop: Announcing the RBSP Launch NASA Social at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida
NASA will host a two-day event for 50 social media followers on August 22-23, 2012, at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

June 27, 2012: In the Loop: RBSP on NPR
On Monday, June 25, National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" program broadcast a feature story about the Radiation Belt Storm Probes mission.

May 30, 2012: In the Loop: Shake, shock, and bake - RBSP's integration and testing 2012
A new compilation video highlights some of the lengthy and rigorous testing that NASA's twin Radiation Belt Storm Probe spacecraft underwent at APL prior to shipping to the Kennedy Space Center on May 1, 2012.

May 18, 2012: In the Loop: After the Trip from Maryland to Florida, RBSP Integration and Testing Continues
The voyage of NASA's twin Radiation Belt Storm Probes from APL to the Kennedy Space Center can be retraced in a new photo gallery.

May 3, 2012: In the Loop: RBSP makes its Florida debut
NASA's twin Radiation Belt Storm Probes have been removed from the protective containers that carried them safely to the Kennedy Space Center.

April 26, 2012: April 26, 2012: Getting Ready For Kennedy
NASA's twin RBSP spacecraft are getting ready for the voyage from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory to the Kennedy Space Center, scheduled for May 1.

April 16, 2012: April 16, 2012: New NASA videos explain "Mysteries of the Sun"
NASA has just released five new videos that look at the Sun's influence throughout the solar system and its connection to the Earth and the Earth's extended space environment-key areas of exploration for the Radiation Belt Storm Probes.

April 25, 2012: April 25, 2012: New launch date for RBSP
As NASA's twin Radiation Belt Storm Probe spacecraft prepare to leave APL for the Kennedy Space Center, a new launch date of Thursday, August 23, 2012 has been announced.

March 1, 2012: In The Loop: Loading RBSP Into Thermal Vacuum Testing
This one-minute video, taken on Feb. 21, is a compressed version of the loading of NASA's twin Radiation Belt Storm Probe satellites into two identical thermal vacuum testing chambers.

February 23, 2012: In The Loop: RBSP Enters Thermal Vacuum Testing
On Feb. 21, NASA's twin RBSP satellites were carefully raised and sealed into two identical thermal vacuum testing chambers.

January 31, 2012: In The Loop: The Mysteries of the Radiation Belts: NASA Helps Researchers See a Great Electron Escape
Filled with electrons and energetic charged particles, Earth's Van Allen radiation belts swell and shrink in response to incoming solar energy, but no one is quite sure how.

January 6, 2012: In The Loop: Smooth Swinging: Solar Panel Deployment Testing Success
NASA's twin RBSP satellites will depend on their solar panels for power during their two-year orbit of Earth; recent tests made sure they would deploy correctly.

December 14, 2011: In The Loop: RBSP Passes Acoustic Testing
The Radiation Belt Storm Probe satellites recently underwent successful acoustic testing at the center of a tower of special loudspeakers.

November 17, 2011: In The Loop: Now Available - RBSP Wallpapers
Enhance your desktop with four new wallpapers featuring the RBSP spacecraft, in both full screen and wide screen formats.

November 3, 2011: In The Loop: Space Academy Probes RBSP Mission
On Oct. 28, more than 100 students from three Maryland public middle schools made a trip to APL to find out about NASA's Radiation Belt Storm Probes mission.

August 26, 2011: In The Loop: One IEM, Two IEM
Both RBSP spacecraft are now equipped with Integrated Electronics Modules (IEMs), which contain radiation-hardened processors and allow subsystems and instruments on the spacecraft to exchange data.

March 15, 2011: In The Loop: An Instrumental Milestone
The RBSP team marks a development milestone amid a flurry of instrument activities.

January 12, 2011: In The Loop: Cleanroom Progress
With the first mission simulation just about a month away, let's check in on RBSP spacecraft work.

News CenterGeospace In The News

February 2010

A new view of our volatile star Environmental Research Web
  NASA launches satellite to help forecast solar storms The Christian Science Monitor
  UNH EOS Welcomes Astronomer as New Director The New Hampshire

December 2009

Saturn's Auroral Hiss is Asymmetrical ScienceDaily.com

November 2009

Rosetta coasting toward Earth for gravity boost Spaceflight Now

October 2009

National Science Foundation Advisory Committee Offers New Vision for the Geosciences National Science Foundation

September 2009

Solar Cycle Driven by More than Sunspots PhysOrg.com

The PAMELA spacecraft's view of the Van Allen radiation belts Symmetry

August 2009

Van Allen’s childhood home to be moved this week Times-Republican
Researchers get $2 million to get the drop on space weather NetworkWorld

January 2009

Hiding from Jupiter’s Radiation Astrobiology Magazine
  NASA-Funded Study Reveals Hazards of Severe Space Weather NASA

December 2008

Researchers Identify New Region of the Magnetosphere Vanderbilt University
  Magnetic Shield – Cracks Found; Big Solar Storms Expected National Geographic News

March 2008

Magnetospheric physics: Hiss from the chorus Nature
  New Discovery at Jupiter Could Protect Earth Satellites Science Daily

 

NASA’S SDO Mission to Improve Predictions of Violent Space Weather SpaceFellowship.com

February 2008

Killer Electrons Surf Celestial Tsunami PhysOrg.com

January 2008

Jan. 31, 1958: Explorer I Makes It Official — There's a Space Race Wired.com

June 2006

APL Tapped to Build NASA's Radiation Belt Storm Probes APL News

News CenterResources

Image of Fact Sheet Cover

Van Allen Probes Fact Sheet

Download High-Res PDF (1.5MB)

press kit

Van Allen Probes Press Kit

RBSP Press Kit Low Res (850 KB PDF)

RBSP Press Kit High Res (11 MB PDF)

Glossary

Glossary »

Archived Event Materials

December 4, 2012 - AGU 2012 Fall Meeting
"New Findings, New Enigmas: NASA's Van Allen Probes Begin their Exploration of the Radiation Belts"

Presenter: Nicola Fox, Deputy Project Scientist, Van Allen Probes, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Maryland
[Fox 1]

Daniel Baker, Principal Investigator, Van Allen Probes Relativistic Electron Proton Telescope (REPT; part of the Energetic Particle, Composition, and Thermal Plasma Suite), Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at the University of Colorado, Boulder
[Baker 1, Van Allen Probes launch and animations]

Craig Kletzing, Principal Investigator, Van Allen Probes Electric and Magnetic Field Instrument Suite and Integrated Science (EMFISIS), University of Iowa, Iowa City
[Kletzing 1, Chorus sound file]

Joseph Mazur, Principal Investigator, Van Allen Probes Relativistic Proton Spectrometer (RPS), Aerospace Corporation, Chantilly, Virginia
[Mazur 1]

August 9, 2012 - RBSP L-14 News Conference

Media from this event is available in high resolution at http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a010000/a011000/a011027/.

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