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.

ICON arrives at Vandenberg

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On May 1, our Ionospheric Connection Explorer arrived at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California for the next stage of its journey to launch, which is scheduled for June 14 US time from Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. (Kwajalein is in a different time zone so it will be June 15 there.)

The observatory made an overnight trip from Gilbert, Arizona, where it was in an Orbital ATK facility. At Vandenberg, ICON will be integrated onto a Pegasus XL rocket and flown to Kwajalein on an L-1011 aircraft, which will double as the rocket's launcher.
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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