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Tue Nov 6, 2018, 04:29 PM

NASA Will Launch a Satellite to Study the Edge of Space Overnight. Here's How to Watch.

By Meghan Bartels, Space.com Senior Writer | November 6, 2018 03:22pm ET

NASA's much-delayed Ionospheric Connection Explorer is scheduled to launch early tomorrow morning (Nov. 7) to begin studying the boundary where Earth's atmosphere meets space.

The launch window opens at 3:00 a.m. EST (0800 GMT) and closes at 4:30 a.m. EST (0930 GMT), and the mission will be taking flight from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. You can watch the launch live at Space.com, courtesy of NASA TV, through a broadcast that begins at 2:45 a.m EST (0745 GMT).

Tomorrow morning's launch has a little twist: The rocket launch will take place from the air. That's because the mission, nicknamed ICON, is launching aboard a Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL rocket, which is designed to fire after being dropped from an airplane called Stargazer L-1011 at a height of about 40,000 feet (12,000 meters).

The Stargazer will drop the Pegasus about 5 minutes after takeoff, and ICON itself will deploy about 11 minutes later, according to a NASA statement about the mission and its launch. The satellite will end up orbiting Earth about 357 miles up (574 kilometers).


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