The researchers want to understand the phenomena behind the magnetic storms engulfing the earth capable of destroying satellites and capable of damaging radio communications on the earth’s surface. For such experiment, they will also have to track down the reasons behind the tropical storms that take place on the ground and do affect these magnetic storms which take place about 60 miles above the earth’s surface. One of the brand new mission of NASA involves doing precisely the job mentioned above. The purpose is known as the Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON).
The primary objective of this mission is to analyze the winds of the ionized atoms and to find out how do they react to the different atmospheric conditions, particularly during the monsoon weather. This new equipment is built at the Space Science Laboratory which is located in UC Berkeley. ICON is set to make its debut over the Pacific Ocean from an airplane on June 14 and should be able to start its work from the beginning of August.
According to Thomas Immel who is the principal investigator for the mission and also a physicist at the Space Sciences Laboratory has said that this mission is going to track anything that is coming its way within the boundary of space and that the purpose is going to watch everything that is happening in its way.
Journalists and press will be invited to the pre-launch event that will be held at Vandenberg Airforce base on June 4 in South California. The event will showcase the complete tour of the L-1011 “Stargazer” aircraft which will take off with the satellites and the booster. It will ride an Orbital ATK Pegasus XL rocket that will take it to the launch site over the Pacific Ocean. Media will also be given the opportunity to watch the take off that will take place on June 5 in Hawaii. Launch preparation will take place I the early morning of June 15.
Media will also be allowed to attend a science briefing that will be held on June 13 at the Space Sciences Laboratory at UC Berkley. A complete replica of the ICON will be put up on that date, and press officials can enjoy a tour mission control for ICON. In fact arrangements for media conference are also arranged for this event.
ICON is supposed to be positioned at 350 miles above the earth’s surface and will track down at a position which is 60 miles above the earth’s surface where the thin upper atmosphere of the planet is located.