US: NASA launched a twin-spacecraft mission, Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP), to explore earth’s radiation belts. Results from this mission would enable designers and operators to mitigate the impact of solar storms able to knock out satellites—including those used for GPS navigation and communication.
“The information collected from these probes will benefit the public by allowing us to better protect our satellites and understand how space weather affects communications and technology on earth,” said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA”s Science Mission Directorate at Headquarters in Washington.
“We have never before sent such comprehensive and high-quality instruments to study high radiation regions of space,” said Barry Mauk, RBSP project scientist at the Johns Hopkins University”s Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md. “RBSP was crafted to help us learn more about, and ultimately predict, the response of the radiation belts to solar inputs.”