ICON Launch Now Targeted for Oct. 9

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NASA and Northrop Grumman coordinated with the U.S. Air Force Eastern Range for an earlier launch date for the agency’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, spacecraft from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. ICON is now targeted for launch on Oct. 9, 2019, aboard a Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL rocket carried by the company’s L-1011 Stargazer aircraft.

ICON Launch Targeted for Oct. 10

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NASA and Northrop Grumman currently are preparing the agency’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, spacecraft and the Pegasus XL rocket at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California for ferry to the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida by the L-1011 Stargazer aircraft on Oct. 1, 2019. The launch has been rescheduled to Oct. 10, 2019, following the completion of a joint NASA/Northrop Grumman investigation into a Pegasus sensor reading that was not within normal limits during previous ferry and launch attempt flights.

ICON analysis underway at Vandenberg Air Force Base

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On Nov. 19, Northrop Grumman flew the L-1011 Stargazer and Pegasus XL rocket carrying ICON back to Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. On Nov. 20, they completed the de-mate of Pegasus from the L-1011 and transported the rocket safely into the integration facility. The Northrop Grumman/NASA team continues its investigation into the off-nominal data observed during the Nov. 7 launch attempt. Once the analysis is complete, a new launch date will be determined.

ICON Launch Postponed

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NASA and Northrop Grumman have postponed today’s (Nov. 7)  launch attempt of NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, mission due to off-nominal data observed on the Pegasus XL rocket, during the captive carry flight. The L-1011 Stargazer carrier aircraft returned to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and the team will begin an investigation into the issue. The ICON spacecraft remains healthy. The team is evaluating the next launch attempt.

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