Van Allen Probes Overview

  • Released Friday, November 9th, 2012
  • Updated Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023 at 1:52PM
  • ID: 11069

The Van Allen Probes (formerly the Radiation Belt Storm Probes, RBSP) will explore the Van Allen Radiation Belts in the Earth's magnetosphere. The charged particles in these regions can be hazardous to both spacecraft and astronauts. Project Scientist Dr. David Sibeck explains the how the mission will explore space weather — changes in Earth's space environment caused by the sun — that can disable satellites, create power grid failures and disrupt GPS service. The mission also will allow researchers to understand fundamental radiation and particle acceleration processes throughout the universe.

The 2-year mission launched Thursday, Aug. 23 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The twin probes lifted off on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center


This visualization is related to the following missions:


This visualization can be found in the following series:


This visualization originally appeared on the following tapes:
  • RBSP: Radiation Belt Storm Probe (ID: 2012076)
    Monday, August 20, 2012 at 4:00AM
    Produced by - Will Duquette