ICON to Return to Vandenberg AFB for Further Analysis

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
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

NASA and Northrop Grumman have made the decision to fly the L-1011 Stargazer and Pegasus XL rocket carrying NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, spacecraft back to its integration facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The ferry flight will take place early next week. Returning to the environmentally-controlled integration facility allows the team to further investigate off-nominal data observed during the Nov. 7 launch attempt.

Once the investigation is complete, a new launch date will be determined. ICON will launch out of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The ICON spacecraft, which uses Northrop Grumman’s LEOStar-2 platform, is monitored at all times and remains healthy.

Kennedy Space Center Employees Support America Recycles Day

In the parking lot of the Data Center at NASA's Kennedy Space Center on Nov. 15, 2018, employees turn in used household material for recycling as part of America Recycles Day. The annual event is a nationally recognized initiative dedicated to promoting recycling in the United States. This year, KSC is partnered with Goodwill Industries and several other local organizations to receive donation material from employees such as gently used household items, personal electronic waste, greeting cards and serviceable eyeglasses. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett
In the parking lot of the Data Center at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on Nov. 15, 2018, employees turn in used household material for recycling as part of America Recycles Day. The annual event is a nationally recognized initiative dedicated to promoting recycling in the United States. This year, KSC is partnered with Goodwill Industries and several other local organizations to receive donation material from employees such as gently used household items, personal electronic waste, greeting cards and serviceable eyeglasses.
Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

The modern high-tech world is full of conveniences such as computers and cellular telephones. All make daily life easier. But, eventually, these products become waste when they are replaced with the latest developments. Employees at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida partnered with Goodwill Industries and several other local organizations to ensure much of the no-longer-needed items don’t become pollution.

On Nov. 14 and 15, Kennedy’s Spaceport Integration and Services Directorate encouraged employees to bring in materials such as new or gently used household items, personal electronic waste and other items for recycling.

The effort was part of America Recycles Day. The national emphasis focuses on opportunities not to discard items that can be recycled, giving them new life. According to Jeanne Ryba, an Environmental, Sustainability Program specialist, the annual event started out at Kennedy focusing on collecting electronic waste and now has expanded to include even more.

“For other charities, we collected phones for Cellphones for Soldiers, used eyeglasses for the Lyons club, bread tags for Danielle Cares for Chairs, coupons, valid up to six months expired, for Coupons for Troops, pop-top tabs for Ronald McDonald House and greeting cards and corks for local programs such as senior homes and craft organizations,” she said.

During the two-day event, hundreds of Kennedy employees turned in goods to be recycled, dropping them off in the parking lots of the Vehicle Assembly Building and the Kennedy Data Center.

All totaled, spaceport employees made approximately 253 drop-offs.

America Recycles Day is a program of Keep America Beautiful and is nationally recognized as a time dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling across the nation. Every year in mid-November, event organizers work to educate neighbors, friends and colleagues about the value of not discarding no-longer-needed items.

Established in 1953, Keep America Beautiful provides the expertise, programs and resources to help people end littering, increase recycling and beautify America’s communities. Among the organization’s most effective efforts was their 1971 ad campaign discouraging roadside litter.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website, recycling contributes to American prosperity and the protection of our environment.

“The recycling rate has increased from less than 7 percent in 1960 to the current rate of 35 percent,” the statement said. “An EPA study found that every 10,000 tons of materials recycled supports nearly 16 jobs and $760,000 in wages.”

Recycling is encouraged year-round at Kennedy. Blue containers for recycling glass, aluminum and plastic are located in many areas at the spaceport. When recycling containers are three-quarters full, visit the STAR website at http://star.ksc.nasa.gov to request that the container be emptied.

For information on the center’s recycling program, employees may call 321-867-3305.

High School Scholars Tour Kennedy Space Center, Have Lunch with an Astronaut

Top scholars from Brevard County high schools tour Kennedy Space Center in Florida, on Nov. 7, 2018.
Top scholars from Brevard County high schools tour Kennedy Space Center in Florida, on Nov. 7, 2018, and stop for a group photo near the Vehicle Assembly Building. Photo credit: NASA/Jennifer Hudgins

Seniors from Brevard County area high schools were treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, ate lunch with an astronaut, and participated in a roundtable discussion with Kennedy engineers, scientists and business experts at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on Nov. 7, 2018.

The students heard from astronaut Bob Springer, a member of the second class of NASA astronauts, who flew on the STS-29 and STS-38 missions. Mixing pertinent information with humor, Springer shared his experiences in training and flying on a space shuttle, and the astronaut selection criteria.

The annual event, hosted by the NASA Academic Engagement Office at the center, also provided information about NASA’s internships and scholarships. At the end of the day, each student received a certificate of recognition. From there, they were invited to tour the visitor complex and view the Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit.

“Each year, the schools select a superb group of students to participate,” said Denise Coleman, Education Program specialist. “They were engaged and eager to see and hear as much as possible about Kennedy, NASA missions, and how all of that might relate to their future.”

ICON Launch Update

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
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

NASA and Northrop Grumman are continuing to investigate the off-nominal data observed during the Pegasus XL rocket’s Nov. 7 launch attempt for the agency’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, mission. The next launch attempt will be evaluated once the investigation is complete. The ICON spacecraft remains healthy.

For updates, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/icon

ICON Launch Update

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
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

NASA and Northrop Grumman have postponed the 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.

For updates, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/icon

Launch Readiness Review Completed for ICON

The Northrop Grumman L-1011 Stargazer aircraft lands on Oct. 19, 2018 at the Skid Strip at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. A Pegasus XL rocket is attached to the underside of the aircraft with NASA's Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, satellite. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett
The Northrop Grumman L-1011 Stargazer aircraft lands on Oct. 19, 2018 at the Skid Strip at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. A Pegasus XL rocket is attached to the underside of the aircraft with NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, satellite.
Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

NASA and Northrop Grumman completed their Launch Readiness Review on Tuesday, Nov. 6, at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. There are no technical issues being worked at this time. NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, satellite mission is scheduled to launch Wednesday, Nov. 7, by Northrop Grumman’s Pegasus XL rocket, which will be carried aloft by the company’s L-1011 Stargazer aircraft taking off from the Skid Strip at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The 90-minute launch window opens at 3 a.m. EST, with a targeted release at 3:05 a.m. Ignition of the Pegasus XL rocket occurs five seconds after release from the Stargazer.

The official weather forecast calls for a 90 percent chance for favorable conditions for launch. The primary launch weather concerns are cumulous clouds.

ICON is designed to study the dynamic zone high in the atmosphere where terrestrial weather from below meets space weather from above.

Follow the launch coverage on NASA Television at:

https://www.nasa.gov/live

Tuesday, Nov. 6
3 p.m. – NASA EDGE webcast from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station will discuss ICON spacecraft operations, science and engineering, as well as launch processing of the Northrop Grumman L-1011 Stargazer with the Pegasus rocket.

Wednesday, Nov. 7
2:45 a.m. – Launch coverage begins at 2:45 a.m. EST

Learn more about NASA’s ICON mission at:

https://www.nasa.gov/icon

Launch Week Begins for ICON

The Northrop Grumman L-1011 Stargazer aircraft is seen on the Skid Strip at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. A Pegasus XL rocket is attached to the underside of the aircraft with NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, satellite.
The Northrop Grumman L-1011 Stargazer aircraft is seen on the Skid Strip at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. A Pegasus XL rocket is attached to the underside of the aircraft with NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, satellite. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

NASA and Northrop Grumman will hold a Launch Readiness Review at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 9 a.m. EST Tuesday, Nov. 6, to ensure preparations are on track for launch of NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) satellite.

ICON is scheduled to launch Wednesday, Nov. 7, by Northrop Grumman’s Pegasus XL rocket, which will be carried aloft by the company’s L-1011 Stargazer aircraft taking off from the Skid Strip at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The 90-minute launch window opens at 3 a.m., with a targeted release at 3:05 a.m. Ignition of the Pegasus XL rocket occurs five seconds after release from the Stargazer.

ICON is designed to study the dynamic zone high in the atmosphere where terrestrial weather from below meets space weather from above.

New Crops Planted Aboard the International Space Station

NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor photographed ‘Dragoon’ lettuce growing in a ‘plant pillow’ on Oct. 30. If all goes well, the lettuce will be ready to enjoy in time for Thanksgiving.

NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor planted two new crops in a special garden aboard the International Space Station on Thursday, Oct. 25. If all goes well, the ‘Red Russian’ kale and ‘Dragoon’ lettuce, will be ready to enjoy in time for Thanksgiving.

The lettuce seeds arrived at the station in “plant pillows,” which are needed because of the way water moves in microgravity. Auñón-Chancellor placed the plant pillows atop a root mat, which she primed with water. She installed them in the station’s Veggie plant growth system, and completed her sowing by adding water to the growth chamber’s reservoir.

These plants are part of experiment Veg-03 G – NASA has been successfully growing veggies aboard station since 2014. The latest experiment will provide astronauts with vitamins C, K and potassium, not to mention a welcome addition to their turkey day table 250 miles above Earth.

NASA to Hold Launch Readiness Review for ICON

ICON spacecraft artist renderingNASA and Northrop Grumman will hold a Launch Readiness Review early next week at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to ensure preparations are continuing on track for the launch of the agency’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, satellite.

ICON will be launched by Northrop Grumman’s Pegasus XL rocket which will be carried aloft by the L-1011 Stargazer aircraft taking off from the Skid Strip at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The ICON satellite mission is expected to launch no earlier than Wednesday, Nov. 7 with a 90-minute launch window opening at 3 a.m. EST. Release from the Stargazer is anticipated for 3:05 a.m. ICON is designed to study the dynamic zone high in the atmosphere where terrestrial weather from below meets space weather from above.

Follow the prelaunch coverage and the launch on NASA Television at:
https://www.nasa.gov/live

Tuesday, Nov. 6
3 p.m. – NASA EDGE webcast from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station will discuss ICON spacecraft operations, science and engineering, as well as launch processing of the Northrop Grumman L-1011 Stargazer with the Pegasus rocket.

Wednesday, Nov. 7
2:45 a.m. – Launch coverage begins at 2:45 a.m.

Learn more about NASA’s ICON mission at:
https://www.nasa.gov/icon

NASA, Northrop Grumman Continue Preparations for ICON

Northrop Grumman's L-1011 Stargazer aircraft is on the runway after touching down at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Skid Strip on Oct. 19, 2018. The company's Pegasus XL rocket, containing NASA's Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, satellite is attached beneath the aircraft. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett
Northrop Grumman’s L-1011 Stargazer aircraft is on the runway after touching down at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Skid Strip on Oct. 19, 2018. The company’s Pegasus XL rocket, containing NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, satellite is attached beneath the aircraft.
Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

NASA and Northrop Grumman continue to prepare for the agency’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) launch and review data from Sunday’s flight test and post flight testing. Currently, there is availability on the Eastern Range from Nov. 3-8. A launch date will be determined once the data review is complete.

For a launch on Nov. 3, the 90-minute launch window would open at 4 a.m. EDT. Due to daylight saving time ending on Sunday, Nov. 4, the launch window would open at 3 a.m. EST from Nov. 4 – 8.

The spacecraft will launch aboard a Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL rocket carried aloft by the L-1011 Stargazer aircraft taking off from the Skid Strip at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.