May 18, 2012
In The Loop: After the Trip from Maryland to Florida, RBSP Integration and Testing Continues
The April 30-May 1 voyage of NASA's twin Radiation Belt Storm Probes from Building 23 of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md. to Kennedy Space Center, Fla. can be tracked in a new photo gallery available here. The spacecraft, packed securely into their round white transportation containers, were taken from the thermal vacuum testing area at APL and loaded onto a flatbed trailer. At about 10:30 p.m. on April 30, they were driven to Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, where they were loaded onto a USAF C-17 cargo plane and flown south to Florida. After landing at 7:54 a.m. at Kennedy Space Center on May 1, RBSP was unloaded from the jet and driven to Astrotech Space Operations, just outside the gates of Kennedy. There, the spacecraft were unloaded and prepared for the integration and testing of their systems and instruments. These activities lead up to final preparations for stacking the spacecraft and scheduled launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 rocket on August 23, 2012.
The Radiation Belt Storm Probes mission is part of NASA’s Living With a Star program, which is managed by Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md., manages the mission and is building and will operate the RBSP spacecraft for NASA.
All photos: JHU/APL
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