CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (WJZ) — NASA launched two satellites, built at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, into space early Thursday morning to explore radiation belts.
“We have never before sent such comprehensive and high-quality instruments to study high radiation regions of space,” said Barry Mauk, a project scientist at APL.
It is the first dual-spacecraft mission to investigate the hazardous regions of near-Earth space.
Scientists said the mission will help them learn how to better protect satellites and how space weather affects communications and technology on Earth.
The Radiation Belt Storm Probes, which each weigh just under 1,500 pounds, will spend the next two years tracking the belts’ changes over space and time.
They will also transmit a space weather broadcast around the clock.