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NASA Ceremony to Rename Twin Earth Radiation Belt Spacecraft

Date: Friday, November 9, 2012

Location: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory Building 200, 11101 Joh, Laurel, MD, US,

WASHINGTON -- Media representatives are invited to attend a ceremony to announce the renaming of NASA's Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP). The event takes place Nov. 9 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 pm EST, at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Building 200, 11101 Johns Hopkins Rd., Laurel, Md.

Along with the announcement of a new name and presentations highlighting the spacecraft's commissioning activities, there will be a tour of the RBSP mission operation facilities.

The ceremony's speakers include:

-- John Grunsfeld, astronaut and associate administrator, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington
-- Ralph Semmel, director, APL
-- Mona Kessel, RBSP program scientist, NASA Headquarters
-- Rick Fitzgerald, Space Department program area manager, APL

To attend the event or for dial-in information, reporters must send their name, media affiliation and telephone number to by 10 a.m. Nov. 9.

Launched on Aug. 30, 2012, the RBSP mission comprises the first dual-spacecraft mission specifically created to investigate the radiation belts that surround Earth. These two belts, named for their discoverer, James Van Allen, encircle the planet and are filled with highly charged particles. The belts are affected by solar storms and coronal mass ejections and sometimes swell dramatically. When this occurs, they can pose dangers to communications, GPS satellites and human spaceflight activities.

For information about NASA's RBSP mission, visit:

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