At Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, the United Launch Alliance, or ULA, Atlas V rocket carrying NASA’s twin Radiation Belt Storm Probes, or RBSP, rolled out of the ULA Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex 41 at 1:59 p.m. EDT and was fully secured in position on the pad at 2:57 p.m. The Atlas V rocket had been rolled back to the facility on August 26 to ensure the launch vehicle and RBSP spacecraft were secured and protected from inclement weather caused by Tropical Storm Isaac.
RBSP will explore changes in Earth's space environment caused by the sun -- known as "space weather" -- that can disable satellites, create power-grid failures and disrupt GPS service. The mission also will provide data on the fundamental radiation and particle acceleration processes throughout the universe. The launch is rescheduled for 4:05 a.m. EDT on Aug. 30, pending approval from the range. For more information on RBSP, visit http://www.nasa.gov/rbsp. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett