Working in near-darkness inside the clean room high bay at the Astrotech payload processing facility near NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians use black lights to inspect a solar panel on one of NASA's twin Radiation Belt Storm Probes. The technicians are dressed in clean-room attire known as “bunny suits.”
Black-light inspection uses UVA fluorescence to detect possible microcontamination, small cracks or fluid leaks. The Radiation Belt Storm Probes, or 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 a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. Launch is targeted for Aug. 23.
For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/rbsp. Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann