At Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, a large crane begins to lift the first stage of the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket into the vertical position. The Atlas V is being prepared for the Radiation Belt Storm Probes, or RBSP, mission.
NASA’s RBSP mission will help us understand the sun’s influence on Earth and near-Earth space by studying the Earth’s radiation belts on various scales of space and time. RBSP will begin its mission of exploration of Earth’s Van Allen radiation belts and the extremes of space weather after its launch aboard an Atlas V rocket. Launch is targeted for Aug. 23. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/rbsp. Photo credit: NASA/Cory Huston