NASA blasts off space laser satellite to track ice loss

NASA on 15 September 2018 showing the United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket with the NASA Ice Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 onboard shortly after the mobile service tower at SLC-2 was rolled

A Delta 2 rocket carrying ICESat-2 lifted off from California.

Delta II rocket carrying launch NASA's Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) mission lifts off from Space Launch Complex-2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, on September 15, 2018.

"While the launch today was incredibly exciting, for us scientists the most anticipated part of the mission starts when we switch on the laser and get our first data", said Thorsten Markus, ICESat-2 project scientist at Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center. The early moments of the flight appeared same old because the vehicle accelerated in the direction of orbit.The Delta 2 debuted in February 1989 when it launched the principle operational International Positioning Scheme satellite from Cape Canaveral.

Over the course of its career, Delta II has managed an impressive ~99% success rate, launching dozens of successful scientific missions to explore asteroids, comets, the Moon, the sun, exoplanets, Mars, and more. Much of that money went toward developing a single, high-tech instrument dubbed the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System, or ATLAS.

ICESat-2 is a successor to the ICESat satellite that collected information on ice cover and other Earth science data from 2003 to 2010.

He added that the satellite should reveal new insights into the ice in the deep interior of Antarctica, which is area of mystery to scientists.

The launch was conducted from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and was broadcast live on the company's website.

"I'm a little bit melancholy about this", NASA Launch Director Tim Dunn said Thursday.

Final Delta 2 rocket launch puts NASA’s ICESAT-2 satellite in orbit to monitor ice

ICESat-2's only instrument is a laser system created to measure the height of Earth's surface - most importantly, sea ice's height.

This is "one of the most wonderful machines we've ever launched into space", ICESat-2 program scientist Tom Wagner said in a statement.

The laser on the satellite fires 10,000 times a second while travelling at a speed of 7km (4.3 miles) a second, from a height of 300 miles (482km).

Measurements will be taken every 2.3 feet (0.7 meters) along the satellite's path.

The Delta 2's RS-27A main engine thundered to life on time at 6:02 a.m. PDT (GMT-7; 9:02 a.m. EDT) followed by ignition of four strap-on solid-fuel boosters.

It also carries twin ELFIN CubeSats.

"This allows the mission to look at the same piece of Earth in each of the four seasons, enabling scientists to use that data to characterize the changes that they're observing", Neumann said.

‘Mrs. Maisel’, ‘Game of Thrones’ win top Emmy honours
The show was first nominated in 1976, the same year that it took home its first award in the category. Bledel won the guest drama actress award in 2017, while Dowd won supporting then.

Apple sees nothing impossible with new iPhones - including what we'll pay
Others found the company's lack of creativity to be a bigger issue, with many simply calling the new names "dumb" and 'lazy'. There will also be three versions available for the smartphone: a 64GB model, a 128GB model, and a 256GB model.

SpaceX announces new plan to send one tourist around Moon
The names and identities of those two tourists - and how much they meant to pay - were never revealed. No one has visited since the last Apollo mission in 1972, said the company.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top A Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Has Allegedly Exploded (But Don't Panic Yet)
Sep 18, 2018 - 11:48
"She claims she was trapped alone in the elevator with the burning Galaxy Note 9 , and was "extremely panicked". Soon after that, she heard a weird noise from her bag which she described as "whistling and screeching" sounds.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Kirk Cousins outduels Rodgers in Vikings-Packers tie
Sep 17, 2018 - 17:11
According to referee Tony Corrente, the flag was thrown because Matthews "lifted him and drove him into the ground". Matthews even put his left hand down in order to try to brace himself to avoid driving Cousins into the ground.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Retired Marine Rescues North Carolina Storm Victims in Military Vehicle
Sep 17, 2018 - 17:07
Video from WXII 12 News show the animals struggling to cross a road in neck-deep water in New Bern, North Carolina. That's the new North Carolina record for most rainfall from a single tropical system.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Typhoon Mangkhut: Deadly typhoon takes aim at south China
Sep 17, 2018 - 17:00
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who visited the affected areas yesterday, pledged funds for the recovery efforts. The South China Morning Post said Hong Kong's hospitals had to use backup power due to outages caused by the storm.

GOP Demands Feinstein Release Letter After Kavanaugh Accuser Identifies Herself
Sep 17, 2018 - 16:59
Mrs Ford, a professor of psychology at Palo Alto University, detailed her allegations in the Washington Post at the weekend . Senator Dianne Feinstein , the top Judiciary Committee Democrat, said a staff call on the matter wasn't adequate.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Accuser's story of attack roils plan for Kavanaugh vote
Sep 17, 2018 - 15:45
The letter described what she said was Kavanaugh's sudden and brutal assault on her at a high school party in "the early 1980s". The test determined that Ford was being truthful when she said a statement summarizing her allegations, according to the Post .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Oil prices claw back some ground, but demand worries drag
Sep 17, 2018 - 15:29
Producer Inflation and Consumer Inflation reports also drove traders into gold, however, gains were limited by rising U.S. At press time, Brent crude is trading at $78.35 per barrel, having clocked a low of $77.87 yesterday.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Number in Novichok suspect's passport file reached Russian military, says report
Sep 17, 2018 - 15:06
According to the Russians, they do not know where is the house of the Skripals in Salisbury, so, possible, they passed by it. In the RT interview the men said they had both been in Salisbury and were the people identified in the security stills.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Hurricane Florence wreaks havoc in US
Sep 17, 2018 - 14:32
By 2 p.m., more than 658,000 customers were without power across North Carolina, and the Triangle had begun to experience outages. In New Bern, along the coast, homes were completely surrounded by water, and rescuers used inflatable boats to reach people.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Hurricane Florence rolls ashore in Carolinas, tears buildings apart
Sep 16, 2018 - 00:30
He added that the storm is moving so slowly - approximately five miles per hour - that he will be in the eye for quite a while. The National Weather Service shared images of Union Point on the shore at New Bern before and after the storm surge hit.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Hurricane Florence now a Category 3, but remains ‘extremely dangerous’
Sep 16, 2018 - 00:11
A hurricane warning was issued for South Santee River, SC, north to Duck, NC, and the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds. The impact of storm surge on the coast will depend on whether the storm's arrival coincides with high tide.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Florence punishes Carolinas with torrential rain, flooding; six dead
Sep 16, 2018 - 00:03
More than 60 people had to be rescued in another town as a cinderblock motel collapsed at the height of the storm's fury. In New Bern, at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers in North Carolina, Florence overwhelmed the town of 30,000.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Alli, Lloris To Miss Tottenham Vs Liverpool
Sep 15, 2018 - 23:17
Lloris picked up his injury against Manchester United and Pochettino revealed he will be out for several weeks. The Premier League club said any disciplinary action they might take would remain an internal matter.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Maurizio Sarri makes Liverpool and Man City admission after Cardiff win
Sep 15, 2018 - 21:11
Cardiff have picked up just two points from their opening four Premier League games and are one of five teams still without a win. However, the Blues boss has revealed that, two days before the window slammed shut, Abraham had a change of heart.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Jurgen Klopp rejects advice to prioritise Premier League title
Sep 14, 2018 - 23:26
As a United fan, that's a worry because it is still that mentality of "anyone but them". The club he's more interested in.