KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (August 17, 2012) – NASA’s Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) are planned to launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on Thursday, Aug. 23, from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The public is invited to participate in RBSP special events at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Friday, Aug. 17 through Saturday, Aug. 25.
The Atlas V will launch two satellites into orbit to study the Van Allen Radiation belts. Speeding through the belts at 2,000 mph, the probes will explore space weather, specifically the changes in Earth’s space environment caused by the sun. These changes can disable satellites, create power grid failures and disrupt GPS services on Earth. Twin probes are being used during the mission to determine whether a change in radiation levels in the belts are due to traveling disturbances, or if the spacecraft has flown through two static, but differing regions.
In celebration of the RBSP mission, NASA and Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will present a variety of RBSP launch-related special events and exhibits:
- Friday, Aug. 17 through Friday, Aug. 24, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., guests are invited to explore RBSP exhibits and meet RBSP mission scientists in the IMAX Theater.
- Saturday, Aug. 18 through Saturday, Aug. 25, guests may take part in Extreme Exploration: Journey to Earth’s Van Allen Radiation Belts. These afternoon presentations will be led by RBSP mission scientists and engineers in the Astronaut Encounter Theater. Please visit www.kennedyspacecenter.com for specific event times.
RBSP launch coverage and commentary will also be available on NASA Television and on www.nasa.gov.
For more information on RBSP events at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, or to purchase admission tickets, call 877-313-2610 or visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.
In honor of Kennedy Space Center’s 50th anniversary, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is offering two special offers with a savings up to 30 percent on admission, food and merchandise, as rocket launch viewing. Details of Kennedy Space Center’s 50th Gold Admission Package and $50 Annual Pass are available at http://kennedyspacecenter.com/annual-pass-offer.aspx.