Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems updates ICON launch status

NASA Spaceflight article (Oct. 4, 2018)

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-- October 5, 2018, by Chris Gebhardt. See original article  in NASASpaceFlight 

Four months after standing down launch operations of the ICON mission on their Pegasus rocket, Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems is entering the home stretch for a realigned launch on 26 October 2018 at 04:05 EDT (0805 UTC) over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

This week, Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems managers for both ICON and Pegasus sat down with NASASpaceflight’s Chris Gebhardt to discuss what happened back in June as well as the current status of both vehicles in the final weeks before launch.

ICON Launch Delayed; New Launch Date to Come

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NASA and Northrop Grumman have decided to delay the launch of the agency’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, previously planned for Oct. 6,  to allow time to address a quality issue with a vendor-supplied electrical connector on the launch vehicle. Northrop Grumman does not expect an extended delay and will work with the range to determine a new launch date.

NASA’s ICON launch now targeted for Oct. 6

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NASA and Northrop Grumman are now targeting Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, for the launch of the agency’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON. The spacecraft will launch aboard a Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The launch window is 90 minutes starting at 4:00 a.m. EDT and ICON will be launching off the coast of Daytona at 39,000 ft. at a heading of 105.0 degrees.

Launch of NASA’s ICON Satellite Postponed

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NASA and Northrop Grumman have postponed ICON's launch. During a ferry transit, Northrop Grumman saw off-nominal data from the Pegasus rocket. While ICON remains healthy, the mission will return to Vandenberg Air Force Base in California for rocket testing and data analysis.A new launch date will be determined at a later date.

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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