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.

Twitter Feed

 

Watch!

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.

First ICON Science Data Released to Public

Karin Hauck 0 154

[by Lina Tran on the NASA blog] On June 22, NASA’s ICON team released scientific data collected during the spacecraft’s first eight months in orbit to the public.

The data release features observations from ICON’s four instruments — MIGHTI, FUV, EUV, and IVM — which have been observing the ins and outs of the ionosphere, the sea of charged particles high in the upper atmosphere. Scientists have been busy parsing the wealth of observations collected by ICON in preparation for the mission’s first science results, which will be released later this year.

“ICON was designed, built, and launched to provide data we had never seen before, and it has not disappointed us in any regard,” said Thomas Immel, ICON principal investigator at University of California, Berkeley. Immel said he was pleased to share ICON’s first data with the world. “The sensitivity and precision of our observations, and the unique orbit and mission design, give us a new and advanced tool for unlocking all the puzzling questions we have had about the connection between Earth’s atmosphere and our space environment.”

The release coincides with the virtual summer meeting of CEDAR, the Coupling, Energetics, and Dynamics of Atmospheric Regions program. The newly released data spans measurements made since the mission’s launch on Oct. 10, 2019. Data can be accessed through University of California Berkeley’s Space Sciences Lab.

RSS
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