RBSP Launch Successful

Thursday morning August 30, at 4:05 AM, after several aborted launches, the Radiation Belt Storm Probes successfully launched in to orbit.  The two probes will circle the earth in separate elliptical orbits and will fly in and out of the inner and outer radiation belts surrounding the earth.  During the probes’ mission they will measure how the sun affects the radiation belts which affects life on earth.  For example, how are communications effected by solar flares.  But until now there has not been a way of actually measuring the effects scientifically.  These probes will make that possible.  It is a two-year mission but as we have seen so often with past missions, the probes may continue to function long past their life expectancy.

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