Exploring Where Earth's Weather Meets Space Weather

The Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON), the newest addition to NASA’s fleet of Heliophysics satellites, launched on October 10, 2019 at 9:59 p.m. EDT. Led by UC Berkeley, scientists and engineers around the world came 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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Pegasus ICON Live Launch Coverage 10/10/2019

Live coverage of NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) launch.

NASA provided comprehensive coverage of launch day preparations and mission specifications for the ICON mission. Coverage occurred from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Launched occurred at 9:59 p.m. on Wednesday, October 10, 2019. ICON was launched on a Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL rocket dropped from the company’s Stargazer L-1011.

This is a short version of the video.
Full length version can be seen here: https://youtu.be/5u_N0rOJjlM

NASA's ICON: Countdown to T-Zero for a Mission to Study Space Weather

Where does Earth's atmosphere end and space begin? This and other questions soon will be answered by NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, satellite. Get ready to watch as the Pegasus countdown reaches T-Zero from its carrier aircraft flying near the Kennedy Space Center.

Newly-Launched ICON Observatory Sees the December 2019 Eclipse

What happens when airglow is temporarily “turned off”?

Karin Hauck 0 1525

Just over six weeks after launch and early calibrations, NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) mission was presented with a unique opportunity. ICON flew very close to the December 26 solar eclipse track that extended across Asia, and observed the major changes in upper atmospheric airglow that naturally occurred. ICON’s four instruments, primed to look at the ionosphere, the dynamic region where Earth meets space, were in position to observe the effects. What happens when airglow –the natural glow of Earth’s atmosphere caused by solar radiation – is temporarily “turned off” when the sun is blocked by the moon’s shadow for a few minutes? Preliminary data shows that all four instruments – MIGHTI, EUV, FUV and IVM – were able to see changes the eclipse wrought.

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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