ICON – Pegasus XL – Cape Canaveral AFS, L-1011 "Stargazer" – 11.10.2019 – 04:59:05 ДМВ

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Цитата Spaceflight Now‏ @SpaceflightNow 24 мин. назад

Tonight's launch marked the 44th flight of a Northrop Grumman Pegasus rocket on a satellite delivery mission, and the 30th consecutive success for Pegasus.


Цитата edward staples‏ @heartdoc2 20 мин. назад

@SpaceflightNow my view looking ESE from waldo, Fla straight uprange of the 1st and 2nd stages of Pegasus. The blips in the path is vibration on the dock from waves or foot steps!


ЦитатаICON Flying Solo

Danielle Sempsrott
Posted Oct 10, 2019 at 10:21 pm

This illustration depicts NASA's Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, satellite that will study the frontier of space: the dynamic zone high in our atmosphere where terrestrial weather from below meets space weather from above.
Photo credit: NASA

The Pegasus XL rocket has gone through each of its three stage motors, reaching a top speed of nearly 17,000 mph. ICON has now separated from the rocket to begin its mission, orbiting 360 miles above the Earth.


ЦитатаNorthrop Grumman Successfully Launches NASA ICON Satellite on Pegasus Rocket

Ninth science mission for which the company both built and launched the satellite for NASA

October 10, 2019

Dulles, Va. - Oct. 10, 2019 - Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) announced its Pegasus® XL rocket successfully launched the company-built Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) satellite for NASA. The launch marked the 44th overall flight of the world's first privately-developed commercial space launch vehicle, and ICON marks the ninth science satellite to be both built and launched by the company for NASA.

Northrop Grumman successfully launched the Pegasus XL rocket carrying NASA's Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) satellite fr om Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Oct. 10, 2019.

The first phase of the launch was aboard Northrop Grumman's "Stargazer" L-1011 carrier aircraft. Shortly after release from Stargazer, Pegasus ignited, carrying ICON to its intended 575-kilometer orbit.

"We are proud to have another successful launch of Pegasus," said Rich Straka, vice president, launch vehicles, Northrop Grumman. "Today's launch is a testament to the team's expertise and determination to provide our customer with mission success."

NASA's ICON satellite will study the frontier of space - the dynamic zone high in Earth's atmosphere wh ere terrestrial weather from below meets space weather above. Northrop Grumman designed and manufactured the spacecraft for ICON at its Dulles satellite manufacturing facility, and tested and verified the spacecraft at the company's location in Gilbert, Arizona. The satellite is based on the company's LEOStar-2™ bus, a flight-proven and flexible satellite platform that accommodates a wide variety of missions.

"Our initial data shows the spacecraft is in good health and performing as expected," said Steve Krein, vice president, civil and commercial satellites, Northrop Grumman. "The successful launch of ICON continues to demonstrate Northrop Grumman's legacy of delivering innovative space science missions for NASA. ICON marks the latest in a long line of scientific spacecraft we have developed and built for NASA over the last 35 years."

ICON will help determine the physics of Earth's space environment and pave the way for mitigating its effects on technology, communications systems and society. Northrop Grumman has previously built multiple explorer satellites buses for NASA, including the NuSTAR, Swift, GALEX, AIM and IBEX spacecraft. Northrop Grumman is also currently manufacturing the Landsat-9 and JPSS-2 spacecraft for NASA. Both satellites use the company's larger LEOStar-3™ bus.

As an air-launched system, Pegasus has unparalleled flexibility to operate from virtually anywhere on Earth with minimal ground support requirements. In fact, Pegasus missions have launched from five separate sites in the U.S., Europe and the Marshall Islands. Pegasus is the leading launch system for the deployment of small satellites into low earth orbit. As the only NASA Category 3 vehicle in the small-launch class, Pegasus is certified to launch NASA's most valuable small satellites.

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in autonomous systems, cyber, C4ISR, space, strike, and logistics and modernization to customers worldwide. Please visit news.northropgrumman.com and follow us on Twitter, @NGCNews, for more information.




ЦитатаOct. 11, 2019
RELEASE 19-082

NASA Spacecraft Launches on Mission to Explore Frontier of Space

Northrop Grumman's L-1011 aircraft, Stargazer, prepares for takeoff at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Skid Strip in Florida on Oct. 10, 2019. Attached beneath the aircraft is the company's Pegasus XL rocket, carrying NASA's Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON).
Credits: NASA

After successfully launching Thursday night, NASA's Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) spacecraft is in orbit for a first-of-its-kind mission to study a region of space where changes can disrupt communications and satellite orbits, and even increase radiation risks to astronauts.

A Northrop Grumman Stargazer L-1011 aircraft took off at 8:31 p.m. EDT from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida carrying ICON, on a Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL rocket, to launch altitude of about 39,000 feet. The first launch opportunity around 9:30 was skipped due to communication issues between the ground team at Cape Canaveral and the aircraft. On the second attempt, the aircraft crew released its payload at 9:59 p.m. EDT and automated systems on the Pegasus rocket launched ICON, a spacecraft roughly the size of a refrigerator, into space.

The spacecraft's solar panels successfully deployed, indicating it has power with all systems operating. After an approximately month-long commissioning period, ICON will begin sending back its first science data in November.

ICON will study changes in a region of the upper atmosphere called the ionosphere. In addition to interfering with communications signals, space weather in the ionosphere can also prematurely decay spacecraft orbits and expose astronauts to radiation-borne health risks. Historically, this critical region of near-Earth space has been difficult to observe. Spacecraft can't travel through the low parts of the ionosphere and balloons can't travel high enough.

"ICON has an important job to do - to help us understand the dynamic space environment near our home," said Nicola Fox, director for heliophysics at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "ICON will be the first mission to simultaneously track what's happening in Earth's upper atmosphere and in space to see how the two interact, causing the kind of changes that can disrupt our communications systems."

ICON explores the connections between the neutral atmosphere and the electrically charged ionosphere with four instruments. Three of the instruments rely on one of the upper atmosphere's more spectacular phenomena: colorful bands called airglow.

Airglow is created by a similar process that creates the aurora - gas is excited by radiation from the Sun and emits light. Though aurora are typically confined to extreme northern and southern latitudes, airglow happens constantly across the globe, and is much fainter. But it's still bright enough for ICON's instruments to build up a picture of the ionosphere's density, composition and structure. By way of airglow, ICON can observe how particles throughout the upper atmosphere are moving.

ICON's fourth instrument provides direct measurements of the ionosphere around it. This instrument characterizes the charged gases immediately surrounding the spacecraft.

"We put as much capability on this satellite that could possibly fit on the payload deck," said Thomas Immel, the principal investigator for ICON at the University of California, Berkeley. "All those instruments are focused on the ionosphere in a completely new science mission that starts now."

ICON's orbit around Earth places it at a 27-degree inclination and altitude of about 360 miles. From there, it can observe the ionosphere around the equator. ICON will aim its instruments for a view of what's happening at the lowest boundary of space, from about 55 miles up to 360 miles above the surface. This rapid orbit circles Earth in 97 minutes while precessing around the equator, allowing ICON to sample a wide range of latitude, longitude and local times.

ICON is an Explorer-class mission. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, manages the Explorer Program for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The University of California at Berkeley developed the ICON mission and the two ultraviolet imaging spectrographs, Extreme Ultra-Violet instrument and the Far Ultra-Violet instrument. The Naval Research Laboratory in Washington developed the Michelson Interferometer for Global High-resolution Thermospheric Imaging instrument. The University of Texas in Dallas developed the Ion Velocity Meter. The spacecraft was built by Northrop Grumman in Dulles, Virginia. The Mission Operations Center at UC Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory is tasked with operating the ICON mission. 


Last Updated: Oct. 11, 2019
Editor: Katherine Brown


Цитата11 ОКТ, 05:42
NASA со второй попытки запустило ракету со спутником для изучения ионосферы Земли
Воздушный старт ракеты-носителя Pegasus с модифицированного транспортного самолета L-1011 Stargazer прошел с задержкой

НЬЮ-ЙОРК, 11 октября. /ТАСС/. Национальное управление по аэронавтике и исследованию космического пространства (NASA) США запустило в четверг спутник ICON, предназначенный для изучения ионосферы Земли. Воздушный старт ракеты-носителя Pegasus с модифицированного транспортного самолета L-1011 Stargazer состоялся с получасовой задержкой - в 22:00 по времени Восточного побережья США (05:00 мск).

Трансляция ведется на сайте NASA. "Третья ступень отделилась, аппарат достиг орбиты", - информировало NASA.

Самолет, выполняющий роль платформы для воздушного старта, поднялся в воздух в 03:33 мск с взлетно-посадочной полосы базы ВВС США на мысе Канаверал (штат Флорида). Stargazer достиг высоты примерно 11,9 км, однако не сбросил ракету-носитель со спутником. "Мы потеряли связь с L-1011 в финальные минуты отсчета времени и были вынуждены отменить попытку запуска", - пояснило в своем Twitter космическое ведомство США.

Самолету пришлось сделать круг и повторить маневр через 30 минут. На этот раз сброс ракеты-носителя прошел штатно. Pegasus через пять секунд свободного падения в горизонтальном положении в автоматическом режиме запустил двигатели. Согласно плану НАСА, носитель должен был доставить спутник на низкую околоземную орбиту за 10 минут.

Миссия ICON рассчитана на два года. Разработчиком ракеты Pegasus XL, состоящей из трех ступеней, является американская корпорация Northrop Grumman. Первоначально запуск приборы намечался на 26 октября прошлого года. Однако пуск был отложен на неопределенный срок из-за необходимости продления предполетных испытаний ракеты-носителя Pegasus.

ICON массой 0,27 тонны был разработан для изучения ионизированной части верхних слоев атмосферы Земли, расположенной выше 50 км. Ионосфера представляет собой природное образование разреженной слабоионизированной плазмы, находящейся в магнитном поле нашей планеты и обладающей благодаря своей высокой электропроводности специфическими свойствами, определяющими характер распространения в ней радиоволн и различных возмущений. Благодаря этому образованию возможен такой удобный вид связи на дальние расстояния, как радиосвязь.


ЦитатаICON Begins Study of Earth's Ionosphere

Danielle Sempsrott
Posted Oct 10, 2019 at 10:54 pm

Northrop Grumman's L-1011 Stargazer aircraft, with the company's Pegasus XL rocket attached beneath, takes off fr om the Skid Strip runway at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Oct. 10, 2019. NASA's Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) is secured inside the rocket's payload fairing. The air-launched Pegasus XL was released fr om the aircraft at 9:59 p.m. EDT to start ICON's journey to space. Photo credit: NASA/Frank Michaux

A Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL rocket launched NASA's Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, satellite at 9:59 p.m. EDT on Oct. 10 fr om Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) to study the dynamic zone in our atmosphere wh ere terrestrial weather from below meets space weather from above.

The satellite was attached to the Pegasus XL rocket, which hitched a ride on the company's L-1011 Stargazer aircraft. Once the aircraft reached an altitude of 39,000 feet, the rocket was dropped, with ignition occurring five seconds after.

"This is a fun launch. In my operational function, this is about as good as it gets," said Omar Baez, launch director in NASA's Launch Services Program. "The anxiety level is higher, the adrenaline is flowing, but what a cool way to fly."

Originally targeting a 9:30 p.m. drop, NASA and Northrop Grumman determined to bypass the first drop attempt due to a loss of communication between ground teams at CCAFS and the Stargazer.

NASA's Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) is attached to the Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL rocket inside Building 1555 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Sept. 10, 2019. Photo credit: NASA/Randy Beaudoin

"When your launch pad is moving at 500/600 miles per hour, things happen," said Baez. "The first attempt got us because we lost positive communication with the aircraft and the ground, and our rule is to abort the flight and go back around and try it again. And we were able to execute it flawlessly."

The region of space wh ere ICON will conduct its study - the ionosphere - comprises of winds that are influenced by many different factors: Earth's seasons, the heating and cooling that takes place throughout the day, and bursts of radiation from the Sun. This region also is wh ere radio communications and GPS signals travel, and fluctuations within the ionosphere can cause significant disruptions to these critical technologies.

As a response to the recent scientific discovery that the ionosphere is significantly impacted by storms in Earth's lower atmosphere, Northrop Grumman designed, integrated and tested the ICON satellite under a contract from the University of California Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory. NASA's Launch Services Program at Kennedy is responsible for launch service acquisition, integration, analysis and launch management.

The ICON mission is part of NASA's Explorer Program managed by the agency's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland for the Science Mission Directorate in Washington, which aims to provide frequent flight opportunities for small- to medium-sized spacecraft that are capable of being built, tested and launched in a shorter period of time.

ICON is expected to improve the forecasts of extreme space weather by utilizing in-situ and remote-sensing instruments to survey the variability of Earth's ionosphere. The mission also will help determine the physics of our space environment, paving the way for mitigating its effects on our technology, communications systems and society.


11.10.2019 11:59:04 #231 Последнее редактирование: 11.10.2019 12:17:50 от tnt22
Обнаружены два объекта запуска0 TBA - TO BE ASSIGNED
1 44628U 19068A   19284.21839666  .00001274  00000-0  10000-3 0  9991
2 44628  26.9924 225.8036 0011411 132.6128 325.5408 14.93214360    16

1 44629U 19068B   19284.21819786  .00000202  00000-0  00000+0 0  9998
2 44629  26.9938 225.7620 0020985 104.9632 351.7306 14.90742677    10
44628 / 2019-068A : 580 x 596 km x 26.992°, 96.43 min, 2019-10-11 05:14:29
44629 / 2019-068B : 581 x 610 km x 26.994°, 96.58 min, 2019-10-11 05:14:12


Цитата Jonathan McDowell @planet4589 5 ч. назад

ICON and the Pegasus 3rd stage cataloged in 569 x 569 km x 27.0 deg orbits, confirming success of the 44th Pegasus launch.


Цитата John Kraus  :f09f9a80:‏ @johnkrausphotos 8 ч. назад

I can't believe I managed to catch a glimpse of this over the Atlantic Ocean!  Northrop Grumman's #PegasusXL rocket heads to orbit with NASA's #ICON mission. The rocket was dropped from the L-1011 Stargazer aircraft at 10:00pm ET.


Объекты занесены в каталог, не идентифицированы


НОРАД определился с объектами запуска




Цитата: undefinedFirst ICON Science Data Released to Public

Lina Tran
Posted Jun 22, 2020 at 2:02 pm

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.

"We're really excited to see the first data appearing from the ICON mission," said Scott England, the ICON project scientist at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. "For me, the real power of these data isn't just seeing transformative things like the wind patterns throughout the whole upper atmosphere, but having all these observations available to us at once, so we can see the connections between the neutral and charged environment around Earth."

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.

ICON observes what's happening at the lowest boundary of space, from about 55 miles up to 360 miles above the surface. ICON explores the connections between the neutral atmosphere and the electrically charged ionosphere. In addition to interfering with communications signals, space weather in this important slice of the atmosphere can also prematurely decay spacecraft orbits and expose astronauts to radiation-borne health risks.

By Lina Tran
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.