American space scientist. In 1945 he began high-altitude rocket research, initially using captured German V2 missiles. He was responsible for instruments aboard the first American satellites, the Explorer series, with which the radiation zones now called Van Allen Belts were discovered. In all, Van Allen worked on 24 missions, including Pioneers 10 and 11, studying planetary magnetospheres (Saturn's in particular), solar X-ray emission, and the solar wind.
Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.