NASA's very delayed Ionospheric Connection Explorer is scheduled to start early tomorrow (November 7th) to begin studying the border where…
NASA’s very delayed Ionospheric Connection Explorer is scheduled to start early tomorrow (November 7th) to begin studying the border where the Earth’s atmosphere meets space.
The launch window opens at 3:00 AM EST (0800 GMT) and closes at. 04:30 EST (0930 GMT), and the mission will take flight from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. You can watch the release live on Space.com using NASA TV, through a broadcast that begins at. 14.45 EST (0745 GMT).
According to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Weather Conditions favors a smooth launch, with a 90 percent probability of good conditions.
An artist’s depiction of the ICON spacecraft at the workplace the boundary between ground and space.
Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center / Mary Pat Hrybyk-Keith
Tomorrow’s launch has a slight twist: Rocket launch will happen from the air. This is because the mission, nickname ICON, is launched aboard a Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL rocket, which is intended to fire after being dropped from an aircraft called Stargazer L-1011 at an altitude of approximately 40,000 feet (12,000 meters ).
Stargazer will release Pegasus in 5 minutes after launch, and ICON itself will distribute about 11 minutes later, according to a NASA statement about the mission and launch. The satellite will end up around the earth about 357 miles up (574 kilometers).
The two-year, 252 million ICON mission is designed to study the Earth’s ionosphere – a level of atmosphere full of heavily loaded particles created by solar radiation. The layer interacts with the two above and below it, which is influenced by terrestrial weather and the sun.
And the ionosphere is a crucial region for what scientists call space weather, the set of phenomena that include harmless glowing aurora and extreme blasts of solar radiation that can knock out satellites that circulate around the earth and even power grids on the ground.
ICON will collaborate in this mission with a mission called Global-scale Observations of Limb and Disk, or GOLD, launched in January and
ICON’s launch has been delayed in a year due to concerns about how the rocket would perform .