Inside the Astrotech payload processing facility near NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians prepare to place Radiation Belt Storm Probes, or RBSP, spacecraft A on a spin test stand. During the spin test, the spacecraft is turned at a rate of 55 rpm to ensure that it is properly balanced.
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 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/Charisse Nahser