NASA is slated to launch a long-awaited satellite from Florida on Thursday night that’s designed to help scientists better predict how space weather events will behave high above Earth. But to get to space, the rocket launching this satellite won’t take off from the ground like most others do. Instead, it’ll launch from underneath the wing of a giant airplane, climbing to space from midair.
The mission is named ICON — for Ionospheric Connection Explorer — and it was originally supposed to launch in the summer of 2017. However, technical issues with the rocket, called Pegasus, forced the launch to be put on hold for the last two years. Now, Northrop Grumman, which operates the Pegasus system, says the rocket is ready to fly after making a…
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Author: Loren Grush