Автор Salo, 05.10.2017 01:21:58
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ЦитатаOrbital ATKПодлинная учетная запись @OrbitalATK 9 ч. назадBeautiful photo of our #Stargazer L-1011 and the #Pegasus rocket taken by @NASA_EDGE. Our ferry flight has been moved one day to accommodate additional testing, launch date should remain June 14 from Kwajalein Atoll. @NASA_LSP #NASAICON
ЦитатаNASA_LSPПодлинная учетная запись @NASA_LSP 20 мин.назадOn June 14 at 10:06 a.m. ET @nasa's ionosphere explorer, ICON, will launch from Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands aboard a @orbitalatk Pegasus XL rocket . More photos from the mission: https://go.nasa.gov/2M2hhpm Скрытый текст:
ЦитатаNASA Completes Flight Readiness Review for ICON SatelliteBob GranathPosted Jun 6, 2018 at 11:48 amA technician uses an ultraviolet light to inspect the Orbital ATK Pegasus XL payload fairing on May 22, 2018. The examination is taking place after mating NASA's Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, satellite to the Pegasus XL rocket inside Building 1555 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.Photo credit: NASA/Randy BeaudoinFollowing a Flight Readiness Review NASA Launch Director Omar Baez and the mission team confirmed the Orbital ATK Pegasus XL rocket will be ready for its targeted launch date for the agency's Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, satellite. The spacecraft will be boosted to Earth orbit during a launch window between 10:01 to 10:38 a.m. EDT on June 14, 2018, (2:01 to 2:38 a.m. on June 15 at the launch site, Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands).While the ICON satellite and its Pegasus XL rocket are being processed at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, the combination was attached to Orbital ATK's L-1011 Star Gazer aircraft and will be ferried to the Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll.On launch day the Stargazer aircraft will take off fr om Kwajalein carrying the Pegasus XL rocket. Five seconds after the rocket is released, its engine will ignite sending ICON to orbit. Скрытый текст: ICON is designed to study the frontier of space -- the dynamic zone high in Earth's atmosphere wh ere terrestrial weather from below meets space weather above. The explorer will help determine the physics of Earth's space environment and pave the way for mitigating its effects on our technology and communications systems.Scientists believe ICON will help determine the physics of our space environment and pave the way for mitigating its effects on our technology, communications systems and society.NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, manages the Explorer Program for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. UC Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory leads the ICON mission. The ICON spacecraft was built by Orbital ATK in Dulles, Virginia. NASA's Launch Services Program, based at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, is responsible for launch service acquisition, integration, analysis and launch management.
ЦитатаPegasus rocket, NASA satellite head for launch base in PacificJune 6, 2018 | Stephen ClarkThe Pegasus XL rocket, fastened underneath an L-1011 carrier plane, took off Wednesday fr om Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, en route to Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific Ocean. Credit: Gene Blevins/LA Daily NewsSlung under the belly of a specially-equipped carrier airplane, a Northrop Grumman Pegasus rocket took off Wednesday from Vandenberg Air Force Base on a two-day trek to a remote U.S. military test site in the Pacific Ocean, wh ere crews will ready the air-dropped booster for launch of a NASA research satellite next week.The ferry flight from California to Kwajalein Atoll in the mid-Pacific Ocean will position the Pegasus rocket, its carrier jet, and support teams for final preparations for launch June 14 with NASA's Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, a satellite designed to probe the link between Earth's atmosphere and space weather.ICON is about the size of a refrigerator and weighs a little more than 600 pounds for launch. The $252 million project is NASA's first mission dedicated to studying the influence of Earth's weather on the ionosphere, an ever-changing layer in the upper atmosphere that affects long-distance communications and navigation.It will ride into orbit at the forward end of a 55-foot-long (17-meter), three-stage Pegasus XL rocket, the world's only operational air-launched orbital-class satellite booster. Скрытый текст: The ICON spacecraft and the Pegasus XL rocket were built by Orbital ATK.In a coincidental confluence of events, the company's acquisition by Northrop Grumman closed Wednesday. Northrop Grumman announced the conclusion of the transaction soon after the Pegasus rocket's L-1011 carrier aircraft, named "Stargazer," left California on the two-leg journey to Kwajalein.Orbital ATK, formed three years ago by the merger of Orbital Sciences and ATK, now functions as a distinct business unit within Northrop Grumman, and has been renamed Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems.The three-engine L-1011 carrier jet took off from Vandenberg's concrete runway with the Pegasus XL rocket at around 12 p.m. PDT (3 p.m. EDT; 1900 GMT) Wednesday, heading for an overnight layover at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii.A charter jet carrying a team of launch controllers, engineers and technicians departed Vandenberg a couple of hours before the L-1011 carrier jet, also heading for an overnight refueling stop in Hawaii.Both aircraft are scheduled to arrive at Bucholz Army Airfield at Kwajalein Atoll, located in the Marshall Islands, late Thursday, U.S. time.A view of the Pegasus XL rocket during preparations for the ferry flight to Kwajalein. Credit: Gene Blevins/LA Daily NewsThe L-1011 carrier jet will fly through the Pegasus rocket's planned drop box north of Kwajalein Atoll as it approaches the remote island, situated just west of the International Date Line. The launch team will run through the final steps of the Pegasus countdown checklist, and the U.S. Army's Reagan Test Site at Kwajalein will activate range tracking equipment to simulate launch day procedures.The rehearsal opportunity will give the Pegasus crew a chance to practice the countdown, and ensure range systems and a mobile control center recently set up at Kwajalein by an advance team are ready for launch day."We'll do a practice dress rehearsal with all the actual radars and equipment that Reagan Test Site will be using for the mission to test that equipment with our rocket at the actual drop point, and with our crew in our control center that we've set up there, so that we can get an end-to-end check," said Eric Denbrook, Northrop Grumman's site manager and head of launch vehicle processing at Vandenberg Air Force Base, in an interview Monday. "That will be really close to what we'll see on launch day."Once at Kwajalein, support crews will configure the already-assembled Pegasus XL rocket for launch, and engineers will ensure the solid-fueled booster and the ICON spacecraft weathered the nearly 5,000-mile (8,000-kilometer) journey from California unscathed.Another compatibility check between the ICON spacecraft, Pegasus rocket, the Stargazer carrier plane, and the Reagan Test site is also planned this weekend. A final launch dress rehearsal is on tap early next week, including a test of data and telemetry relays between Kwajalein and the ICON satellite control center in Berkeley, California.After final closeouts and launch preps, the L-1011 aircraft will take off from Kwajalein and head north to the Pegasus drop box. The L-1011's co-pilot will command release of the 51,000-pound (23-metric ton) Pegasus XL at 39,000 feet (11,900 meters) during a planned 37-minute window opening June 14 at 1401 GMT (10:01 a.m. EDT).The drop is currently targeted for around 1406 GMT (10:06 a.m. EDT), or 2:06 a.m. Kwajalein time on June 15, to begin an eight-minute climb into orbit roughly 357 miles (575 kilometers) above Earth.Next week's mission will mark the 44th launch of a Pegasus rocket on a satellite delivery mission, and the 34th in the Pegasus XL configuration with uprated solid rocket motors. It will be the fifth Pegasus mission staged from Kwajalein, a site which NASA and Northrop Grumman officials -- then part of Orbital ATK -- sel ected based on ICON's target orbit and the rocket's lift capability, which gets an extra boost from the island's equatorial location.Kwajalein's location in the Pacific Ocean. Credit: Kwajalein Range ServicesNow part of the U.S. military's Reagan Test Site, Kwajalein Atoll is part of the Marshall Islands. Before the nation gained independence, the territory was administered by the United States, which took control of Kwajalein, known as Kwaj for short, in a World War 2 battle that left numerous shipwrecks and crashed airplanes in the atoll's lagoon. Japan, Germany and Spain previously claimed Kwajalein and surrounding islands."There's a lot of interesting history on Kwaj, so people who haven't been there are kind of interested to go and see it for the first time," Denbrook said. "For us, the struggle is making sure we have enough spares and parts."Kwajalein is around 2,400 miles (3,900 kilometers) southwest of Honolulu. Equipment needed by the L-1011 carrier jet, Pegasus ground control consoles, and other hardware required during the final days of the ICON launch campaign had to be transported by boat or airplane ahead of time."It's hard to get things in and out of that island, so we have to make sure we're prepared for any contingency that could take place," Denbrook said. "From a logistics standpoint, that's the toughest thing."Denbrook's team prepared the Pegasus XL rocket for launch at Vandenberg's Building 1555.Workers assembled the rocket's three stages, which arrived from a Northrop Grumman facility in Utah already packed with solid propellant, connected the Pegasus XL's delta-shaped wing and articulating fins, then mated the ICON spacecraft to the launcher last month, a few weeks after its shipment from a factory in Gilbert, Arizona.The final launch processing work included encapsulation of the ICON satellite inside the Pegasus rocket's nose shroud, and the lifting of the launcher onto a transport trailer.A technician inspects the Pegasus rocket's payload fairing before enclosing the ICON spacecraft (right) for launch. Credit: NASA/Randy BeaudoinOn Saturday morning, crews rolled the Pegasus XL out of Building 1555 to the Vandenberg airfield and under the belly of the L-1011 carrier plane, which was jacked off the ground to receive the rocket. Teams hooked the Pegasus to the aircraft Saturday afternoon, and ran a full checkout of electrical and telemetry connections between the vehicles and the Vandenberg range Sunday.Engineers noticed some unexpected noise in the telemetry channels, prompting a one-day delay in the L-1011's ferry flight from Tuesday to Wednesday.ICON's launch was delayed a year by a pair of concerns with its Pegasus launcher.Engineers wanted more time to inspect the Pegasus rocket motors after they were mishandled during shipment to Vandenberg, officials said. That pushed the launch back from June to December 2017, the next availability in the military-run range at Kwajalein.Then managers decided to ground the mission to assess the reliability of bolt-cutters used to jettison the Pegasus rocket's payload fairing and separate the satellite in orbit. Bryan Baldwin, senior director of the Pegasus program at Orbital ATK, told Spaceflight Now that engineers opted to use slightly smaller quarter-inch diameter bolts for those functions on the ICON mission to ensure the bolt-cutter mechanisms do their job.The quarter-inch bolts have flown on previous missions, and they still meet the Pegasus vehicle's structural requirements, Baldwin said.Officials have dedicated the rocket set to deliver ICON to space in honor of Ebb Harris, who piloted numerous Pegasus launch missions since the dawn of the program more than a quarter-century ago. Harris died earlier this year."Ebb has been a mentor to everyone who has come since the beginning of the program, a true gentleman, a very knowledgable and competent airman, and just a fun guy to be around," said Don Walter, who will command the L-1011 aircraft during the ICON mission. "On every rocket that we launch, we have the ability to dedicate it to somebody, so if you look at the side of the rocket, you'll see that this rocket is dedicated to Ebb."A dedication to former L-1011 pilot Ebb Harris is scripted under the starboard wing of the Pegasus XL rocket. Credit: Northrop GrummanAfter its launch next week, ICON will go through a month of in-orbit testing before commencing science observations to examine a mysterious connection between the variability of the ionosphere with weather phenomena deeper in Earth's atmosphere."The ionosphere is the densest plasma in space between us and the sun, and that plasma has a number of effects on systems that we use every day," said Thomas Immel, ICON's principal investigator at the University of California, Berkeley.The ICON mission will study "how weather in our lower atmosphere, the weather we experience fr om day to day, influences conditions in space," he said. "This coupling of the lower atmosphere to the upper atmosphere is a new science topic for NASA."Previous NASA missions detected a link between the weather in the lower atmosphere to changes in the ionosphere, which scientists had thought was primarily driven by solar activity."We saw with those missions that the density in the ionosphere varied in response to changes in the rainy seasons in the tropics," Immel said. "The new mission of ICON is to focus on that topic, and we're carrying the instruments to invesitgate that region."We think focusing on that will give us a real key to understanding and making better predictions for space weather," he said.
ЦитатаJune 5, 2018Pegasus: Countdown 101Orbital ATK's "Stargazer" L-1011 in flight with Pegasus attached.Credits: Orbital ATKFlying over the Atlantic Ocean offshore fr om Daytona Beach, Florida, a Pegasus XL rocket carrying the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System payload begins its flight as the rocket's first stage ignites.Credits: NASAPegasus XL is a winged, three-stage solid propellant rocket built by Orbital ATK that can launch a satellite into low earth orbit. The Pegasus is carried aloft for launch by a L-1011 jet called the "Stargazer."After takeoff, the aircraft flies to about 39,000 feet over the ocean and releases the rocket. Following a five-second free-fall in a horizontal position, the Pegasus XL rocket's first stage ignites. The aerodynamic lift, generated by the rocket's triangle-shaped wing, delivers the payload into orbit in about 10 minutes.Pegasus XL is used to deploy small satellites weighing up to 1,000 pounds into low-Earth orbit from virtually anywhere in the world wh ere a runway with support and checkout facilities is available. These locations include Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, and the Kwajalein Missile Range in the South Pacific.Here are some typical countdown milestones and key events that take place after the countdown begins. NOTE: Event times and lengths are approximate and subject to change.Countdown for Pegasus Скрытый текст: T-4 hours, 15 minutes[/li]Ground operations checks are completedT-3 hours, 15 minutes[/li]NASA launch manager and NASA advisory manager take a "management on station" voice-check pollT-2 hours, 20 minutes[/li]Flight crew enters the L-1011 carrier aircraftPilot completes prestart checklistT-2 hours, 18 minutes[/li]Engine start poll is takenT-2 hours, 10 minutes through T-1 hour, 20 minutes[/li]Ground launch team receives "go" for engine startStart enginesAircraft stairs are removed and the hatch is closedT-1 hour, 45 minutes through T-45 minutes[/li]L-1011 pre-taxi checklist completeFlight Termination System (FTS) power onVoice checks completeT-1 hour, 15 minutes[/li]"Go" for taxi after tower clearance is givenTaxi is under wayT-1 hour, 3 minutes[/li]Last chance status check completedT-1 hour[/li]Ground launch team "ready for takeoff" poll takenLaunch team is "go" for takeoffAfter tower clearance, the L-1011 carrier aircraft takes offChase plane takes off to follow the L-1011T-30 minutes[/li]Chase plane visual inspectionReport on turbulence, winds and clouds at launch point requestedT-15 minutes[/li]Release mechanism is armedT-12 minutes[/li]Verify FTS check is nominalTransfer avionics to internal powerT-9 minutes[/li]Weather status report is confirmed and green for launchPeak power has been passedL-1011 heads for the drop pointT-7 minutes[/li]Range status report is givenVerify transient power is "on" and vehicle is safeT-5 minutes[/li]NASA launch manager conducts final launch readiness poll to enter terminal countdownAvionics now on internal powerT-45 seconds[/li]Fin battery is activatedT-20 seconds[/li]Verify fin testing and heading statusT-10 seconds[/li]Pilot confirms Pegasus is "go" for launchT-Zero[/li]Pegasus is dropped from the L-1011T+5 seconds[/li]Pegasus first stage motor is ignitedT+1 minute, 17 seconds[/li]First stage motor burnoutT+1 minute, 30 seconds[/li]First stage separation, followed by second stage motor ignitionT+2 minutes, 11 seconds[/li]Fairing separationT+2 minutes, 44 seconds[/li]Second stage motor burnoutT+4 minutes, 53 seconds[/li]Second stage separationT+5 minutes[/li]Third stage motor ignitionT+6 minutes, 12 seconds[/li]Third stage motor burnoutT+6 minutes, 32 seconds[/li]Begin thermal rollT+8 minutes, 42 seconds[/li]End thermal rollT+9 minutes, 32 seconds[/li]Payload separationPegasus has successfully delivered its payload into orbit!The L-1011 carrier aircraft returns to its departure point.Last Updated: June 6, 2018Editor: NASA Content Administrator
ЦитатаNASA Television Upcoming EventsWatch NASA TVJUNEJune 14, Thursday9:45 a.m. - Coverage of the launch of the Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) on a Northrop Grumman Pegasus rocket from Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific. Launch window is 10:01 a.m. - 10:38 a.m. (Media Channel)
ЦитатаLaunch of NASA's ICON Satellite PostponedLinda HerridgePosted Jun 8, 2018 at 5:30 pmNASA and Northrop Grumman have postponed the launch of the agency's Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) satellite. ICON, which will study the frontier of space, was targeted to launch on a Pegasus XL rocket June 14 from the Kwajalein Atoll in Marshall Islands.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.
Цитата[SIZE=8]Northrop Grumman Statement on Pegasus/ICON Launch[/SIZE]FALLS CHURCH, Va. - June 8, 2018 - Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) posted the following statement today:"Northrop Grumman, working with NASA, has made the decision to postpone the June 14 launch of the Pegasus XL rocket, carrying the ICON spacecraft. The company will return Pegasus to Vandenberg Air Force Base to conduct testing of the rocket after off-nominal data was seen during the ferry flight. Upon further review of the data, the teams will work to determine a new launch date. As always, Northrop Grumman works with NASA to base its launch decisions on assuring mission success for our customer.
ЦитатаCarrier jet with Pegasus rocket returning to California, postponing NASA satellite launchJune 8, 2018 | Stephen ClarkEDITOR'S NOTE: Upd ated at 6 p.m. EDT (2200 GMT).The L-1011 carrier aircraft with Northrop Grumman's air-dropped Pegasus launcher departed Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, on Wednesday on a planned two-day ferry flight to Kwajalein Atoll. The aircraft and Pegasus rocket will return to Vandenberg after teams encountered a technical concern en route to Kwajalein. Credit: USAF 30th Space Wing/Dan HerreraNASA and Northrop Grumman officials decided Friday to return a Pegasus rocket and its carrier aircraft fr om Hawaii to California, aborting a trip to Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific Ocean for next week's scheduled launch of a NASA research satellite to conduct additional testing.The return trip to California will postpone the launch of NASA's Ionospheric Connection Explorer, known as ICON, indefinitely. Launch was scheduled for next Thursday, June 14, U.S. time."Northrop Grumman, working with NASA, has made the decision to postpone the June 14 launch of the Pegasus XL rocket, carrying the ICON spacecraft," the company said in a statement. "The company will return Pegasus to Vandenberg Air Force Base to conduct testing of the rocket after off-nominal data was seen during the ferry flight."Upon further review of the data, the teams will work to determine a new launch date," the statement said. "As always, Northrop Grumman works with NASA to base its launch decisions on assuring mission success for our customer."The U.S. Army's Reagan Test Site, which manages the launch range at Kwajalein, has limited windows available for civilian launchers like the Pegasus. The Pegasus rocket's return to California is expected to cause the mission to miss its narrow launch opportunity in June, prompting a delay that could be measured in months.The air-launched Pegasus XL rocket, nestled under the belly of an L-1011 carrier jet, departed Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, on Wednesday, heading for an overnight stop at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, en route to Kwajalein Atoll, home to a U.S. military launch range in the mid-Pacific Ocean.But teams reversed course after detecting a technical problem on the first leg of the journey. The nature of the "off-nominal data" found during the ferry flight was not announced as of Friday afternoon, and a NASA spokesperson did not provide further information when asked.The L-1011 aircraft, along with a team of controllers, technicians and engineers making the trip on a charter airplane, did not take off for Kwajalein as planned Thursday, and officials decided Friday to bring the rocket back to Vandenberg Air Force Base, wh ere Pegasus launchers are assembled and readied for missions. Скрытый текст: The online flight tracking website FlightAware.com showed the charter plane with members of the ICON team took off from Honolulu on Friday bound for Vandenberg. A flight plan for the L-1011 aircraft, carrying the Pegasus rocket, showed it was scheduled to leave Hawaii later Friday.The ICON satellite is fastened to the forward end of the 55-foot-long (17-meter) Pegasus rocket. ICON will probe the link between Earth's atmosphere and space weather.ICON is about the size of a refrigerator and weighs a little more than 600 pounds for launch. The $252 million project is NASA's first mission dedicated to studying the influence of Earth's weather on the ionosphere, an ever-changing layer in the upper atmosphere that affects long-distance communications and navigation.The mission was se t to be the first satellite launch conducted by Northrop Grumman after the aerospace contractor's purchase of Orbital ATK, which developed the Pegasus rocket. Orbital ATK has conducted 43 satellite launches with Pegasus rockets since 1990, and a record which includes 29 successful orbital-class missions in a row since 1997.The fully-assembled Pegasus XL rocket, with the ICON spacecraft in its nose cone, before departure from Vandenberg Air Force Base on Wednesday. Credit: NASA/Randy BeaudoinICON will be the fifth Pegasus mission staged from Kwajalein, a site which NASA and Northrop Grumman officials -- then part of Orbital ATK -- sel ected based on ICON's target orbit and the rocket's lift capability, which gets an extra boost from the island's equatorial location.The Pegasus team had pre-staged key equipment, including launch control consoles and spares for the Pegasus rocket and the L-1011 carrier aircraft, at Kwajalein months before the mission's scheduled takeoff.Located in the Marshall Islands, Kwajalein is around 2,400 miles (3,900 kilometers) southwest of Honolulu, just west of the International Date Line.ICON's launch has been delayed a year by a pair of concerns with its Pegasus launcher.Engineers wanted more time to inspect the Pegasus rocket motors after they were mishandled during shipment to Vandenberg, officials said. That pushed the launch back fr om June to December 2017, the next availability in the military-run range at Kwajalein.Then managers decided to ground the mission to assess the reliability of bolt-cutters used to jettison the Pegasus rocket's payload fairing and separate the satellite in orbit. Workers installed smaller bolts in the fairing and satellite separation mechanisms, a measure officials said will ensure the cutters do their jobs.
ЦитатаIan Kluft @ikluft 16 мин.16 минут назадI have arrived at UC Berkeley's Space Sciences Lab for the #NASAICON event by @NASASocial. A little early... I left time for travel delays but there weren't any. (Not complaining.)
ЦитатаNASA likely to relocate delayed Pegasus launch to FloridaJuly 5, 2018 | Stephen ClarkA Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL rocket, carried underneath a modified L-1011 airplane, departed Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on June 6 on the way to Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific Ocean. The rocket and carrier jet returned to Vandenberg on June 8 after engineers encountered a technical problem with the launch vehicle during the ferry flight. Credit: NASA/Randy BeaudoinNASA and Northrop Grumman are expected to base the launch of an air-dropped Pegasus rocket with a NASA science satellite fr om Cape Canaveral later this year, after originally trying to get the mission into space fr om a remote island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.The space agency has not announced the move, but three officials involved in the mission said the launch of NASA's Ionospheric Connection Explorer -- ICON -- a small satellite instrumented to study the link between weather on Earth and conditions at the edge of space, is expected to shift fr om Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific Ocean to Cape Canaveral. Скрытый текст: The air-launched rocket was supposed to send the ICON satellite into orbit June 14. The Pegasus XL rocket was to take off fr om a U.S. military airfield on Kwajalein Atoll, located in the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean around 2,400 miles (3,900 kilometers) southwest of Honolulu, under an L-1011 carrier jet, then drop from the belly of the aircraft and fire into orbit.But teams from Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems, formerly known as Orbital ATK, noticed unusual telemetry from the rocket during a ferry flight from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, to Kwajalein on June 6.Launch crews examined the unexpected telemetry data during a planned one-night stopover in Honolulu, Hawaii, before deciding to return the Pegasus XL rocket, with the ICON spacecraft in its nose cone, back to Vandenberg under the L-1011 carrier aircraft, said Tim Dunn, a launch director from NASA's Launch Services Program at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, which oversees the mission for the space agency."They have avionics powered on during the ferry flight from Vandenberg down to Hawaii, and they saw a signature on the rudder fin actuator system that they had not seen before," Dunn said in an interview with Spaceflight Now. "So they spent a day-and-a-half at Hawaii, and determined, out of an abundance of caution, that it was better to come back and fully understand that instead of proceeding ahead and launching at risk."The Pegasus XL rocket is fitted with a wing and rear-mounted steering fins to provide lift and stability during the rocket's first stage burn.After returning to California on June 8, crews disconnected the Pegasus XL launcher from the belly of the L-1011 aircraft and transferred the rocket to Building 1555 at Vandenberg, wh ere Northrop Grumman assembles its Pegasus and Minotaur families of satellite boosters.Dunn said the Northrop Grumman team expects to resolve the rudder fin actuator issue within a matter of weeks.But finding a slot in the U.S. Army Reagan Test Site, which controls the launch range at Kwajalein -- often called "Kwaj" -- is a more difficult matter. The range is typically busy with military operations, such as missile defense tests, and has limited windows for accommodating a civilian launch.An opportunity to launch ICON from the U.S. Air Force's Eastern Range, based at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, is expected before a new window is available at Kwajalein, officials said. Скрытый текст: File photo of the most recent Pegasus XL launch off Florida's East Coast in December 2016 with NASA's CYGNSS hurricane research satellites. Credit: NASA/Lori LoseyAssuming Northrop Grumman engineers clear the fin actuator issue identified last month, the Pegasus XL rocket will be re-assembled, mounted again on its L-1011 carrier aircraft, and flown in September on a cross-country trip from Vandenberg Air Force Base to the Skid Strip, a runway at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.Members of the ICON team have been informed the launch is currently targeted for late September over the Atlantic Ocean off Florida's East Coast, two officials familiar with the mission told Spaceflight Now.The $252 million ICON project is NASA's first mission dedicated to studying the influence of Earth's weather on the ionosphere, an ever-changing layer in the upper atmosphere that affects long-distance communications and navigation.Four of the Pegasus rocket's 43 satellite delivery missions have been staged from Kwajalein, and six Pegasus flights have been based from runways at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station or NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.In a recent interview with Spaceflight Now, Dunn said NASA and Northrop Grumman would evaluate their options before deciding on a new launch window and launch site."The question we normally get is why wouldn't you stage out of the Cape to begin with?" Dunn said. "It's an interesting one because when ICON was first developed, it had an estimated mass that just tipped the scales of capability of coming out of the Cape at roughly 28-and-a-half degrees north latitude. From a capability point-of-view, Pegasus just could not do it from the Cape, so Orbital ATK offered in the proposal to go back to Kwaj."The solid-fueled, three-stage Pegasus XL rocket will place the roughly 600-pound (272-kilogram) ICON satellite, also built by Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems, into a 357-mile-high (575-kilometer) orbit inclined 27 degrees to the equator.ICON requires a dedicated launch because few other satellites go into such an orbit, restricting rideshare launch opportunities.It turns out ICON ended up weighing a little less than originally planned, meaning its Pegasus launcher no longer needs the extra velocity boost provided by Earth's rotation at Kwajalein, which sits closer to the equator than Cape Canaveral."As the spacecraft was developed over the last four years, that expected mass of the spacecraft kept coming down, marginally coming down," Dunn said. "We're only talking about tens of kilograms, so a difference of 20 or 30 kilograms (44-66 pounds) was wh ere the balance was, wh ere the scale got tipped. When they came in with their final mass, they were actually at a mass wh ere we could stage out of the Skid Strip here (in Florida) and fly off the coast and go into the approprate initial orbit."That's why the Cape is a player right now," Dunn said. "It certainly would give us a little bit of added flexibility, and we have a great history of staging the L-1011 out of the Skid Strip."ICON's launch was previously delayed a year by a pair of concerns with its Pegasus launcher.Engineers wanted more time to inspect the Pegasus rocket motors after they were mishandled during shipment to Vandenberg, officials said. That pushed the launch back from June to December 2017, the next availability in the military-run range at Kwajalein.Then managers decided to ground the mission to assess the reliability of bolt-cutters used to jettison the Pegasus rocket's payload fairing and separate the satellite in orbit. Workers installed smaller bolts in the fairing and satellite separation mechanisms, a measure officials said will ensure the cutters do their jobs.NASA and Northrop Grumman officials considered shifting ICON's launch from Kwajalein to Cape Canaveral during the previous delays, but they decided to continue with the mission from Kwajalein.The Pegasus and ICON teams will have to ship ground support equipment deployed to Kwajalein Atoll back to the United States, and transfer some of the hardware to Cape Canaveral ahead of launch later this year.
ЦитатаChris B - NSF @NASASpaceflight 2 ч. назадARTICLE: ICON resets for October launch from the East Coast -https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/08/icon-resets-october-launch-east-coast/ ...Photo by Jack Beyer (@thejackbeyer) for NSF/L2
ЦитатаNASA's ICON launch now targeted for Oct. 6Anna HeineyPosted Aug 29, 2018 at 2:52 pmNASA 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. The June launch was postponed after off-nominal data was detected during the ferry flight of Pegasus. The root cause was traced to a faulty sensor, which has been replaced.
ЦитатаNASA | Countdown to T-Zero for a Mission to Study Space WeatherNASAОпубликовано: 30 авг. 2018 г.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 launching in early October from its carrier aircraft flying near the Kennedy Space Center.
ЦитатаICON Launch Delayed; New Launch Date to ComeBob GranathPosted Sep 14, 2018 at 12:27 pmNASA and Northrop Grumman have decided to delay the launch of the agency's Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, 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. The ICON spacecraft will launch aboard a Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
ЦитатаNASA's ICON launch now targeted for Oct. 26Bob GranathPosted Sep 21, 2018 at 11:25 amNASA and Northrop Grumman are now targeting Friday, Oct. 26, 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 a.m. EDT and ICON will be launching off the coast of Daytona at 39,000 ft. at a heading of 105.0 degrees. The launch was postponed from Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, to allow time to address a quality issue with a vendor-supplied electrical connector on the launch vehicle, which has been resolved.Photo Credit: NASA
ЦитатаChris B - NSF @NASASpaceflight 9 мин.9 минут назадFEATURE ARTICLE:Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems updates ICON launch status -https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/10/ngis-updates-icon-launch-status/ ...- By Chris Gebhardt (@ChrisG_NSF) Скрытый текст:
ЦитатаLaunch of ICON on Pegasus from underneath the Stargazer aircraft is currently scheduled for Friday, 26 October at 04:05 EDT (0805 UTC) - five minutes past the opening of the launch window - from a location over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
ЦитатаNASA Television Upcoming EventsWatch NASA TVAll times EasternOCTOBEROctober 23, Tuesday1 p.m. - ICON, the Ionospheric Connection Explorer, Mission Pre-Launch and Science Briefing (All Channels)October 26, Friday3:45 a.m. - ICON, the Ionospheric Connection Explorer, Mission Launch; launch window 4 - 5:30 a.m. (All Channels)
ЦитатаFlight Readiness Review Underway for ICON SatelliteBob GranathPosted Oct 12, 2018 at 8:08 amThis illustration depicts NASA's Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, satellite that will study the frontier of space, the dynamic zone high in the atmosphere where terrestrial weather fr om below meets space weather fr om above.Photo credit: NASANASA and Northrop Grumman managers are holding a Flight Readiness Review to ensure preparations are continuing on track for the launch of the agency's Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, satellite. The meeting is taking place at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California wh ere the spacecraft is being processed. ICON is scheduled to be launched Oct. 26, 2018, by a Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL rocket carried aloft by the company's L-1011 Stargazer aircraft.Recent checkouts of the ICON satellite have been completed and the payload fairing was installed with that process completed on Oct. 6. The Stargazer arrived at Vandenberg the day before. Plans call for the Pegasus XL rocket with ICON aboard to soon be attached to the aircraft for the flight to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.On launch day, the Stargazer will take off from the Cape's Skid Strip runway with the Pegasus XL rocket to be launched over the Atlantic Ocean about 50 miles east of Daytona Beach, Florida. This L-1011 aircraft is a mobile launch platform and the only one of its kind in the world.ICON is designed to study the frontier of space -- the dynamic zone high in Earth's atmosphere wh ere terrestrial weather from below meets space weather above. The explorer will help determine the physics of Earth's space environment and pave the way for mitigating its effects on our technology and communications systems.