The NASA ICON launched into orbit on October 10th, after a series of postponed launches. The ICON was attached to a Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL rocket, where it was then brought to an altitude of 39,00 feet. The NASA ICON was then able to successfully open its solar panels, which means it is now able to power itself as it orbits the earth.
NASA created the ICON in order to examine changes in what is called the ionosphere, which is the higher section in the atmosphere. The satellite will examine a process referred to as airglow and specifically how different particles move within the ionosphere. NASA's ICON will be used for a month in order to collect information and the space organization states that information will begin to be received in November.
Image Credit: NASA