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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. NASA’s twin Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) are scheduled to lift off aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at 4:08 a.m. on August 23. Designed for a two-year primary science mission in orbit around Earth, RBSP will provide insight into our planet’s radiation belts, and help scientists predict changes in this critical region of space.

NASA Social participants will have the opportunity to:

  • View the launch of the Radiation Belt Storm Probes
  • Tour NASA facilities at Kennedy Space Center
  • Meet and interact with scientists, engineers, and other team members from NASA and the RBSP mission
  • Learn about NASA’s Launch Services Program and how they match spacecraft with rockets
  • View and take photographs of the RBSP launch pad
  • Meet fellow space enthusiasts who are active on social media
  • Meet members of NASA's social media teams

RBSP advances our understanding of dramatic and puzzling aspects of Earth’s radiation belts. The “Van Allen Belts,” named for their discoverer, James Van Allen, are two donut-shaped regions encircling the Earth, where high-energy particles are energized by interactions with the sun and space and trapped by our planet’s magnetic field. Participants in this NASA Social will learn about the science of the belts, the challenges of designing spacecraft to operate in this harsh space environment, and how data from RBSP will help researchers understand how to better design spacecraft and protect astronauts.

Registration for the NASA Social opens at noon EDT Thursday, July 5, and closes at noon EDT Monday, July 9.

To learn more, visit http://www.nasa.gov/connect/social/social_rbsp_august2012.html.

spinTest

RBSP spacecraft A is spun up to 55 revolutions per minute (RPM) during mass and balance testing in Florida. The RBSP spacecraft will spin at about five RPM during normal operations in orbit. Credit: JHU/APL.

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.

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