• Released Tuesday, March 27th, 2018
  • Updated Tuesday, November 6th, 2018 at 12:00AM


The Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, is a low-Earth orbiting satellite that will give us new information about how Earth’s atmosphere interacts with near-Earth space — a give-and-take that plays a major role in the safety of our satellites and reliability of communications signals.

Specifically, ICON investigates the connections between the neutral atmosphere — which extends from near Earth’s surface to far above us, at the edge of space— and the electrically charged part of the atmosphere, called the ionosphere. The particles of the ionosphere carry electrical charge that can disrupt communications signals, cause satellites in low-Earth orbit to become electrically charged, and, in extreme cases, cause power outages on the ground.

The Mission

The Ionosphere

ICON Launch

About ICON and GOLD