In Pictures: NASA's hot radiation mission

NASA is set to launch its Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) to explore the most intense areas of radiation around Earth

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NASA facts about radiation: The inner radiation belt was discovered with data from the very first American satellite, Explorer 1. Explorer 1 launched into Earth's orbit on a Jupiter C missile from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Jan. 31, 1958. The outer radiation belt was discovered a few months after the inner belt using data from Explorer IV and Pioneer 3, both launched in 1958. When the radiation belts were first discovered, the radiation was so intense that at first scientists thought they might be recording a Soviet nuclear test, NASA said.

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In Pictures: NASA's hot radiation mission

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