Exploring Where Earth's Weather Meets Space Weather

The Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) will be the newest addition to NASA’s fleet of Heliophysics satellites. Led by UC Berkeley, scientists and engineers around the world are coming together to make ICON a reality.

The goal of the ICON mission is to understand the tug-of-war between Earth’s atmosphere and the space environment. In the "no mans land" of the ionosphere, a continuous struggle between solar forcing and Earth’s weather systems drive extreme and unpredicted variability. ICON will investigate the forces at play in the near-space environment, leading the way in understanding disturbances that can lead to severe interference with communications and GPS signals.
 
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Another step closer to launch

ICON passes pre-environmental review

Karin Hauck 0 330

After passing its "Pre-Environmental Review” last week, the ICON spacecraft/observatory is now in environmental testing at Orbital ATK in Virginia. We will run a number of tests -- such as vibration and acoustical tests -- over the following weeks that will simulate the launch and space environments that ICON will be exposed to. All the instruments continue to check out well, and we’re getting a lot of time on the observatory. All this testing and reviewing shows us that ICON is in great shape and will be ready to go when launch day arrives this summer. It’s all coming together!

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ICON skin is based on Greytness by Adammer
Background image, courtesy of NASA, is a derivitave of photograph taken by D. Pettit from the ISS, used under Creative Commons license