NASA launches satellite to explore where air meets space

In this Oct. 1, 2019 photo made available by NASA, a Northrop Grumman L-1011 Stargazer aircraft takes off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The company's Pegasus XL rocket, containing NASA's Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON), is attached beneath the aircraft. (Randy Beaudoin/NASA via AP)
Updated 11 October 2019

NASA launches satellite to explore where air meets space

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida: NASA has launched a satellite to explore the mysterious, dynamic region where air meets space.
The satellite — known as Icon, short for Ionospheric Connection Explorer — rocketed into orbit Thursday night. It was dropped from a plane flying over the Atlantic off the Florida coast.
The ionosphere is the charged part of the upper atmosphere extending several hundred miles (kilometers) up. It’s in constant flux as space weather bombards it from above and Earth weather from below, sometimes disrupting satellite communications.
The more scientists know, the better spacecraft and astronauts can be protected in orbit through improved forecasting.
Icon should have soared two years ago, but problems with Northrop Grumman’s air-launched Pegasus rocket interfered. Despite the long delay, NASA says the $252 million mission didn’t exceed its price cap.


India reports biggest single-day spike in coronavirus cases

Updated 13 min 54 sec ago

India reports biggest single-day spike in coronavirus cases

  • India surpasses Italy as the sixth worst-hit by the coronavirus pandemic

NEW DELHI: India surpassed Italy as the sixth worst-hit by the coronavirus pandemic after another biggest single-day spike in confirmed infections.
The Health Ministry reported 9,887 new cases on Saturday, bringing the total to 236,657.
Most of the new cases are in rural areas following the return of hundreds of thousands of migrant workers who left cities and towns after the lockdown in late March.
The lockdown is now largely being enforced in high-risk areas while authorities have partially restored train services and domestic flights and allowed shops and manufacturing to reopen. Shopping malls and religious places are due to open on Monday with restrictions to avoid large gatherings.