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November 8, 2012

Media Contact:
Geoff Brown
(240) 228-5618

NASA Ceremony to Rename Twin Radiation Belt Spacecraft

A ceremony to announce the renaming of NASA's Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) will take place Nov. 9 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 pm EST, at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md.

The ceremony's speakers include:

  • John Grunsfeld, astronaut and associate administrator, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington
  • Ralph Semmel, director, APL
  • Mona Kessel, RBSP program scientist, NASA Headquarters
  • Rick Fitzgerald, Space Department program area manager, APL

Launched on Aug. 30, 2012, the RBSP mission comprises the first dual-spacecraft mission specifically created to investigate the radiation belts that surround Earth. These two belts, named for their discoverer, James Van Allen, encircle the planet and are filled with highly charged particles. The belts are affected by solar storms and coronal mass ejections and sometimes swell dramatically. When this occurs, they can pose dangers to communications, GPS satellites and human spaceflight activities.

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 manages the mission for NASA.

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