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August 28, 2012

In the Loop: Picture Perfect - RBSP and Florida Storm Clouds

images of rbsp and florida storm clouds
Credit: JHU/APL

One of the most powerful photos of NASA’s Radiation Belt Storm Probes prior to launch is this stunning image of the spacecraft and their Atlas V launch vehicle, taken after the rocket’s first roll out on Aug. 22, 2012 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex-41.

Taken by Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory photographer Edward Whitman at about 3:15 p.m. EDT, this photo captures the approach of one of the near-daily late afternoon thunderstorms that roll across Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral during the late summer.

Following two unsuccessful launch attempts on Aug. 24 and Aug. 25, the Atlas V was rolled back into the Vertical Integration Facility (visible at far left) for safety during the arrival of Tropical Storm Isaac; the launch vehicle was scheduled to be rolled back out to the pad today at 2 p.m. EDT.

RBSP is scheduled to launch at 4:05 a.m. EDT on Thursday, Aug. 30.

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.

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