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July 16, 2012

Media Contact:
Geoff Brown
(240) 228-5618
Geoffrey.Brown@jhuapl.edu

New Time-lapse Videos Track Solar Array Deployment Tests

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. (Note: No sound). Credit: JHUAPL

In these three 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. The first video traces the testing preparation and setup; the second chronicles the actual deployment tests; and the third shows post-deployment activities.  

Each RBSP spacecraft deploys four solar panels to power its systems and instruments while in orbit; two of these arrays, on opposing sides, also deploy three-meter long booms that carry magnetometers for the EMFISIS instrument. EMFISIS will allow scientists to better understand the important role played by magnetic fields and plasma waves in the processes of radiation belt particle acceleration and loss.

RBSP is currently completing launch processing at Astrotech Space Operations in Florida, near the Kennedy Space Center, from where RBSP is scheduled to launch on Thu., Aug. 23 for a two-year primary science mission.

Setup for RBSP spacecraft A's solar array and EMFISIS boom deployment testing. Credit: JHUAPL

Post-deployment testing activities for RBSP spacecraft A. Credit: JHUAPL

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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