NASA and Northrop Grumman have rescheduled the launch date of a new scientific satellite into low Earth orbit for Oct. 10 after both parties completed a joint review into technical issues concerning a rocket sensor.
The company will transport the Ionospheric Connection Explorer spacecraft and the Pegasus XL rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California to Cape Canaveral AF Station in Florida by Oct. 1 using the L-1011 Stargazer aircraft, according to a NASA blog post published Friday.
The mission, originally scheduled to launch in late 2017, faced several delays because Pegasus’ sensor did not fall within normal reading limits during previous ferry flights and launch attempts. ICON's flight hardware was modified after the investigation. Since the modification, the launch vehicle has undergone two tests with no issues.
The spacecraft, designed to analyze the layer of atmosphere between Earth and space, is undergoing performance trials.