Early Friday morning (just a few hours from now), if the Florida weather holds, two satellites are set to launch (here's the live-blogged play-by-play
) from NASA's launch facility on Cape Canaveral on a mission to study the radiation belts that surround earth and (among other things) help make this planet friendly for life. The Radiation Belt Storm Probes mission
features twin craft engineered by Johns Hopkins' Applied Physics Lab which "will operate entirely within the radiation belts throughout their mission. When intense space weather occurs and the density and energy of particles within the belts increases, the probes will not have the luxury of going into a safe mode, as many other spacecraft must do during storms. The spacecraft engineers must therefore design probes and instruments that are 'hardened' to continue working even in the harshest conditions." Update: 08/24 14:53 GMT
: Launch was a no-go, but there'll be another try early Saturday morning.