NASA's hot radiation mission
NASA is set to launch its Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) to explore the most intense areas of radiation around Earth
By Michael Cooney | Network World US | Published: 17:15, 03 September 12
On 24 August, NASA blasted twin satellites successfully into the radiation belts that surround Earth. The Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) will let researchers finally begin to unlock the mysteries of the Van Allen radiation belts, two doughnut-shaped rings around the Earth made up of very high-energy electrons and protons that can damage satellites and endanger humans during spaceflight, NASA says. Here's what the mission looks like.
Understanding the nature of radiation belts
NASA says the Van Allen radiation belt mission's general scientific objectives are to: discover which processes accelerate and transport the particles in the radiation belt, and under what conditions; understand and quantify the loss of electrons from the radiation belts; determine the balance between the processes that cause electron acceleration and those that cause losses; understand how the radiation belts change in the context of geomagnetic storms.