Inside a clean room in Building 1555 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, technicians begin to install the first half of the Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL payload fairing around NASA's Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) on Aug. 22, 2018. ICON is being prepared for its launch on the Pegasus XL rocket, which is attached beneath the company's L-1011 Stargazer aircraft. Launch is scheduled for Oct. 26, from the Skid Strip at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. ICON will study the frontier of space - the dynamic zone high in Earth's atmosphere where terrestrial weather from below meets space weather above. The explorer will help determine the physics of Earth's space environment and pave the way for mitigating its effects on our technology, communications systems and society.