[Via Satellite 11-24-2014] Orbital Sciences has received a launch contract from NASA for the agency’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) scientific satellite. Orbital will use the air-launched Pegasus rocket to deliver the satellite into Low Earth Orbit (LEO).
ICON’s launch is slated for mid-2017 from the Reagan Test Site at Kwajalein Island, located in the Pacific Ocean near the equator. Orbital is also building the ICON spacecraft for NASA. The company has fulfilled several other launch and manufacturing contracts with NASA using Pegasus such as the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) mission and the Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE). Orbital’s next Pegasus launch is for NASA’s Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS), currently scheduled for October 2016