NASA has announced the opening of media accreditation for the launch of its Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) mission, targeted to be air-launched over the Atlantic Ocean on a Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL rocket Wednesday, Oct. 9, the company said.
Media prelaunch activities will take place at NASA´s Kennedy Space Center and neighboring Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, with details of the activities to be announced closer to the launch date.
ICON and Pegasus will take off aboard the L-1011 Stargazer aircraft from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for a 90-minute launch window opening at 9:25 p.m. ICON will be launching off the coast of Daytona at 39,000 feet at a heading of 105 degrees.
The ionosphere, where Earth´s weather meets space weather, can be a source of great beauty, but also can be disruptive to radio communications and satellites, and astronaut health. ICON will help determine the physical processes at play in this frontier of space, and help find ways to mitigate their negative effects.