NASA Renames Radiation Belt Mission To Honor Pioneering Scientist
WASHINGTON, Nov. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA has renamed a recently launched mission that studies Earth's radiation belts as the Van Allen Probes in honor of the late James Van Allen. Van Allen was the head of the physics department at the University of Iowa who discovered the radiation belts encircling Earth in 1958.
The new name of the mission, previously called the Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP), was announced Friday during a ceremony at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md.
"James Van Allen was a true pioneer in astrophysics," said John Grunsfeld, astronaut and associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate at the agency's headquarters in Washington. "His ground breaking research paved the way for current and future space exploration. These spacecraft now not only honor his iconic name but his mark on science."
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