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August 22, 2012

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Geoff Brown
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RBSP, Atlas V is "Go" for Launch

Technicians attach the payload fairing holding the RBSP spacecraft to a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 41 in Florida on Aug. 10, 2012. Credit: NASA/Dmitri Gerondidakis

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER -- The launch teams for NASA's Radiation Belt Storm Probes concluded their Launch Readiness Review yesterday afternoon and received the go-ahead to continue preparations for Friday morning's liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force station in Florida.

After extensive testing of the booster engine actuator system on the RD-180 engines and a thorough data analysis, no problems were found and the rocket has been cleared for launch. The RBSP spacecraft also was cleared for flight during the review and is ready for liftoff.

To avoid predicted afternoon thunderstorm activity on Wednesday, the Atlas V rollout has been moved earlier to 8 a.m. EDT. This will allow sufficient time for the RP-1 fuel to be loaded aboard the Atlas first stage before adverse weather arrives.

The launch weather forecast calls for a 60 percent chance of acceptable conditions Friday morning. Liftoff is scheduled for 4:07 a.m. EDT on Friday, Aug. 24.

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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