Press Release

NASA to Hold News Conference on Upcoming Radiation Belt Storm Probes Launch

By SpaceRef Editor
August 7, 2012
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WASHINGTON — NASA will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. EDT, Thursday, Aug. 9 to discuss the upcoming launch of the Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP), a mission to study Earth’s radiation belts. The event will be broadcast live on NASA Television and streamed on the agency’s website.

The two-year RBSP mission will help scientists develop an understanding of Earth’s Van Allen radiation belts and related regions that pose hazards to human and robotic explorers.

RBSP is scheduled to launch no earlier than 4:08 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 23 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The twin probes will lift off on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.

News conference panelists are:

— Madhulika Guhathakurta, Living With a Star program scientist, NASA Headquarters, Washington
— Mona Kessel, RBSP program scientist, NASA Headquarters
— Barry Mauk, RBSP project scientist, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), Laurel, Md.
— Rick Fitzgerald, RBSP project manager, APL, Laurel, Md.

Reporters can ask questions from NASA’s centers, by telephone or via Twitter using the hashtag #asknasa. For dial-in information, reporters must send their name, media affiliation and telephone number to by 1 p.m. Aug. 9.

RBSP will explore space weather — changes in Earth’s space environment caused by the sun — that can disable satellites, create power grid failures and disrupt GPS service. The mission also will allow researchers to understand fundamental radiation and particle acceleration processes throughout the universe.

Graphics presented during the news conference will be online shortly before the start of the event at:

For NASA TV streaming video, downlink and scheduling information, visit:

For more information about the RBSP mission, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.