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Department Alumni Prime Movers in NASA Mission

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

It's Launched! While the Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) Mission at NASA may have cost only $700 million, 1/3 of the Mars Mission, its direct impact on Earth and our understanding of the Earth-Sun interaction is significantly greater. Dr. Mona Kessel(MS, PhD Physics 1986), member of the Department Alumni Advisory Board, is Program Scientist for the mission and Prof. Emeritus, alumnus, and former Board member, Dr. Tom Armstrong, will be running the Science Operations Center for RBSPICE, one of the four instruments on board, from his local Lawrence firm, Fundamental Technologies. To celebrate and view the launch, a local event was held in downtown Lawrence at Hobbs (700 Mass. St.) at 3 AM FRIDAY Aug. 24. For technical reasons first and then the weather (Isaac strikes again), the launch was delayed a week. The mission, however, did get underway with the launch on Thursday morning (8/30). There will be an approximately two-month shakedown period before the data collection is fully underway but, so far, so good.

Follow the progress of the mission at the official site.