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Pegasus XL • ICON

Launch window: 0800-0930 GMT (4:00-5:30 a.m. EDT)
Launch site:
L-1011, Skid Strip, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

An air-launched Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL rocket will deploy NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) satellite into orbit. ICON will study the ionosphere, a region of Earth’s upper atmosphere where terrestrial weather meets space weather. Disturbances in the ionosphere triggered by solar storms or weather activity in the lower atmosphere can cause disturbances in GPS navigation and radio transmissions. The mission’s staging point was changed from Kwajalein Atoll to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in mid-2018. Delayed from June 15, Nov. 14, and Dec. 8, 2017. Delayed from June 14 and Sept. 24. [Aug. 24]