NASA Hopes To Launch Two “Long-Delayed” Space Missions In Early 2019 ICON Written 20 December 2018

Space News reports that NASA hopes to see two “long-delayed space science missions launched in the first few months of 2019, one of which will go on one of two back-to-back Falcon Heavy missions.” At a Tuesday meeting of NASA’s Heliophysics Advisory Committee, Nicky Fox, “director of the agency’s heliophysics division, said the Space Environment Testbed payload is now scheduled for launch no earlier than April as part of the U.S. Air Force’s Space Test Program 2 mission, launching on a Falcon Heavy rocket.” The mission includes the “Demonstration and Science Experiments (DSX) satellite from the Air Force Research Laboratory, which hosts the Space Environment Testbed.” The testbed itself carries “several experiments to study the space radiation environment and how it affects spacecraft electronics.” Other satellites in the vehicle include “some from NASA, such as the Green Propellant Infusion Mission, as well as from the Air Force and private organizations, including the LightSail-2 solar sail demonstrator developed by The Planetary Society.” The two launches will “use the same set of first stage booster cores.” NASA also hopes to launch its Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) satellite in early 2019. The ICON mission has “suffered months of delays because of problems with its launch vehicle, the Pegasus XL from Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems.”
More Info (Space News)