Transcripts of 12699_ICON_Overview_V2

<> Up past the clouds, past the stratosphere, and even farther some 60 to 600 miles above Earth our atmosphere slowly gives way to space. This region, the ionosphere, is home to the aurora, but it is also increasingly a key part of the human domain. It houses not only astronauts, but radio signals used to guide airplanes, and ships, and many satellites, and yet the ionosphere is not well understood. To explore this area of near Earth space, NASA and UC Berekley built the ionospheric connection explorer, or ICON. ICON's task is to help us understand just what causes the constant changes we see in the ionosphere. The more we understand the more we can protect our assets in space. From a position close to Earth, ICON samples variations in the ionosphere over the course of hours days and seasons. The mission will investigate how the ionosphere reacts to our planet's weather, rising up from below, as well as space weather from above. A key set of the mission's observations focus on the most eye catching phenomena visible in the ionosphere: air glow. Colorful bands of plasma caused by solar radiation. ICON will use specialized technology to track how this plasma is moving through the ionosphere. As we learn more about the relationship linking Earth's atmosphere and the space environment the information will help improve the ability to predict conditions in the ionosphere, one more important step in protecting ourselves as we venture farther and farther from home. tone beeping beeping