Two NASA satellites slated for 2017 launch will focus on edge of space

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- Robert Sanders, Berkeley News.  Scientists at UC Berkeley’s Space Sciences Laboratory are preparing for the 2017 launch of an Earth-orbiting satellite to discover how storms in the atmosphere affect storms in the ionosphere.

The ionosphere is the edge of space where the sun ionizes the air in Earth’s atmosphere to create constantly shifting streams and sheets of charged particles.

The NASA-funded satellite, called the Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, will complement observations from a sister satellite also scheduled for launch in 2017: the Global Observations of the Limb and Disk, or GOLD. GOLD is being led by the University of Central Florida, though UC Berkeley space scientist Scott England works on both missions.

ICON at AGU Fall Meeting

San Francisco, 12-16 December, 2016

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With approximately 24,000 attendees in 2015, AGU’s Fall Meeting is the largest Earth and space science meeting in the world.

Here are ICON-related sessions, poster sessions and a press conference:


Monday, 12 December 2016

SA11A-01: The Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) : Mission Design and Planning

08:00 – 08:15     Moscone West - 2016    Authors: Immel et. al.

The Ionospheric Connection Explorer is NASA's next Explorer mission, with a primary scientific goal of understanding the source of the extreme variability in Earth's ionosphere. The observatory is scheduled to be delivered to the Pegasus launch vehicle in early 2017 for a June launch. ICON carries unprecedented capability to orbit in a broader national and international effort to understand changes in our space environment occurring on a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. Here, we will discuss plans for the observatory checkout and early operations, and discuss the observing conditions expected in the atmosphere and ionosphere at that time. The status of the science data pipeline and the predicted performance of the observatory for scientific measurements will be discussed.

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