Rocket ship blasts off


The Focused Investigations of Relativistic Electron Burst Intensity, Range, and Dynamics (FIREBIRD) mission, launched in 2013, is focused on measuring electrons precipitating from the Van Allen radiation belts. Data from this mission will help scientists improve their understanding of space weather that can harm astronauts in space and impact technology on Earth.

FIREBIRD is a collaboration between the University of New Hampshire, Montana State University, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and The Aerospace Corporation with project funding provided by the National Science Foundation. 


Get the Facts

Launch Date

Launched: December 5, 2013

Launched: January 29, 2015

Mission Duration
4 months

Collaboration between
University of New Hampshire
Montana State University
Boston University
The Aerospace Corporation

Twin CubeSat Nanosatellites will measure
electrons precipitating from the 
Van Allen Radiation Belts

Firebird Launch

On Thurs., Dec. 5, 2013 at 11:14:30 pm PST, FIREBIRD was among a payload of 12 CubeSats on a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Dedicated to the payload of a major mission of the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office, the rocket ride was shared with this secondary payload of CubeSat projects.


FireBIRD logo is yellow and orange bird with fiery tail.