« Return to "In The Loop" Archive

August 28, 2012

In the Loop: “Building the RBSP Spacecraft” – New Movie Chronicles Design and Construction of Twin Spacecraft

In order to study the Van Allen radiation belts, NASA needed two tough spacecraft equipped with the best instrumentation ever flown into these hazardous regions of near-Earth space. Building the Radiation Belt Storm Probes with enough protection and flexibility to survive the belts was the challenge facing the RBSP team at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md.

NASA's Radiation Belt Storm Probes will, for the first time, allow scientists to use two spacecraft to learn how the belts change over space and time. RBSP will let scientists answer questions surrounding the belts that have existed since their discovery more than half a century ago.

RBSP is part of NASA's Living With a Star Program to explore aspects of the connected sun-Earth system that directly affect life and society. LWS is managed by the agency's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. APL built the RBSP spacecraft and will manage the mission for NASA.

NASA Logo Van Allen Probes Logo

© 2017 The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory LLC. All rights reserved.
11100 Johns Hopkins Road, Laurel, Maryland 20723
240-228-5000 (Washington, DC, area) • 443-778-5000 (Baltimore area)