UPDATE: UNH radiation-belt satellite launch delayed to Saturday
Posted by David Brooks | Thursday, August 23, 2012
UPDATE: THe launch was pushed back 24 hours because of "a drift in the signal of a C-Band transponder aboard the Atlas V rocket. It is not yet known if the issue was in the ground-based range detection equipment or in the Atlas V transponder." So says NASA.
Harlan Spence, director of the UNH Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space at UNH, is unlikely to get much sleep tonight. Between 4 and 4:27 tomorrow morning, NASA is scheduled to launch the twin Radiation Belt Storm Probes that carry equipment for which he is lead scientist. Years of his work will be sitting atop a big, dangerous machine.
I'm supposed to interview him after 7 a.m. Let's hope the rocket doesn't blow up on the launch pad - he'd be bummed.
UNH News Services has an article about the probes (read it here):
Collectively, the mission's five instrument suites will make the most precise measurements to date of the high-energy particles and magnetic and electric fields and waves in this near-Earth region of space where "space weather" occurs and hundreds of spacecraft operate.