National Aeronautics and space administration (NASA), the United States launched on Thursday the satellite ICON, designed to study the Earth’s ionosphere. Air launch Pegasus launch took place half an hour late at 22:00 East coast time USA (05:00 GMT). This was reported on the website NASA.
Initially, the launch of the device was scheduled for 26 October last year. However, the launch was postponed indefinitely due to the need to extend pre-flight test of the launch vehicle Pegasus. Current rocket launch took place above the waters of the Atlantic ocean, where it was delivered to the carrier aircraft with the U.S. air force base at Cape Canaveral.
Pegasus – winged disposable booster air-launched, is designed to output in low earth orbit small satellites (up to 1 ton). Work on the project was conducted in 1987 with the support of NASA and the U.S. air force. August 10, 1989, the prototype rocket, the Pegasus, was presented at Edwards AFB (California). Created two versions of the launch vehicle: Pegasus basic (exploited in 1990-1998), and Pegasus XL (runs held since June 1994).
The rocket launched from a height of about 12 km above the waters of the World ocean, where it delivers the aircraft carrier. Separated from the aircraft, Pegasus for five seconds in free fall, then turn the engine of the first stage and begins a solo flight of a rocket. After 10 minutes, after practicing all the steps, the satellites separated from the rocket and go into orbit.
First booster Pegasus was launched on 5 April 1990 using aircraft B-52 took off from Edwards air force base. Then the orbit was derived from two satellites. The second launch on 17 July 1991, was partially successful: the Pegasus unit HAPS launched seven satellites into orbit lower than estimated. Partially failed was the launch of the Pegasus unit HAPS may 19, 1994, when the display satellite was launched lower than planned orbit. Accidents ended three Pegasus XL launch: June 27, 1994 (first run this version) at 35 seconds into the flight failed, the control system of the rocket, June 22, 1995, the rocket was destroyed during operation of the second stage, November 4, 1996 there is a problem in the third stage.
11 Oct 2019 inclusively produced 44 rocket launch vehicle, three of them were emergency and two partially unsuccessful. In total it space was running 95 different spacecraft. The previous launch took place on 15 December 2016, when Pegasus XL launched into orbit eight small weather satellites belonging to NASA.