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Fri Oct 11, 2019, 06:25 AM

NASA launches satellite to mysterious zone where Earth meets space

https://www.dw.com/en/nasa-launches-satellite-to-mysterious-zone-where-earth-meets-space/a-50788348

NASA launches satellite to mysterious zone where Earth meets space

NASA launched a satellite Thursday to explore the ionosphere, a mysterious part of Earth's atmosphere on the edge of space.

The satellite shot into orbit from a plane flying over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of the US state of Florida.

The satellite called Icon, or Ionospheric Connection Explorer, will transmit data intended to help scientists understand the "physical processes at work where Earth's atmosphere interacts with near-Earth space," NASA said.

Research by scientists at NASA has identified this region of "near space" as being in constant flux from solar storms above and weather below.

According to NASA, the ionosphere is a fluctuating layer of electrons and charged atoms and molecules ranging from 48 kilometers (30 miles) above the Earth's surface to 965 kilometers (600 miles) above the ground at the edge of space.
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NASA said the Icon the satellite will transmit data intended to help scientists understand the "physical processes at work where Earth's atmosphere interacts with near-Earth space."
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