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Report: Northrop Targets Oct. 26 Launch for ICON Spacecraft

Report: Northrop Targets Oct. 26 Launch for ICON Spacecraft - top government contractors - best government contracting event

Report: Northrop Targets Oct. 26 Launch for ICON Spacecraft - top government contractors - best government contracting eventNorthrop Grumman plans to launch on Oct. 26 the Ionospheric Connection Explorer spacecraft aboard the Pegasus rocket, NASASpaceflight.com reported Friday.

The rocket will launch from the Stargazer L-1011 aircraft that will take off from Cape Canaveral in Florida.

ICON was originally scheduled to launch in June, but Northrop postponed the take-off after Pegasus sent off-nominal data during the ferry flight of Stargazer.

The new scheduled launch came four months after engineers from Northrop's innovation systems business addressed contamination issues with the rocket's actuator control units.

Northrop finalized the fourth flight simulation and started encapsulation work on the spacecraft on Thursday, Oct. 4.

The company will connect the rocket to Stargazer on Oct. 14 and then ferry flight the aircraft from California to Florida to perform additional tests prior to launch later this month.

“Once we get [to the Cape], the guys will perform safing operations, get all the equipment in place, get the ground support equipment, air conditioners, those kind of things ready to go,“ Bryan Baldwin, Pegasus program manager at Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems, told the publication in an interview.

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Written by Jane Edwards

is a staff writer at Executive Mosaic, where she writes for ExecutiveBiz about IT modernization, cybersecurity, space procurement and industry leaders’ perspectives on government technology trends.

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