NASA satellite launched to measure Earth's ice changesVANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.

NASA начало контролировать состояние полярных льдов с помощью спутника

The Delta II's second stage engine completed the first of its four planned burns 11 minutes after liftoff, placing it into an initial elliptical transfer orbit. Earlier, the personnel encountered delays in retracting the cell carrier tower from its draw sheltering the rocket.

NASA's Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) launched Saturday morning, on a mission to measure the planet's frozen reaches with "unprecedented accuracy".

"I'm a little bit sad".

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center oversees the ICESat-2 mission and the ATLAS instrument for the agency's science mission directorate.

Tom Neumann, deputy project scientist for ICESat-2, said: 'Our data will allow ice sheet modelers to make better predictions of the future'. Over the course of the 3-year mission, Fibertek's laser will generate over 1 Trillion laser pulses, several hundred times more than any other space laser flown by NASA.

Satellite separation occurred approximately an hour after the Delta II rocket's departure.

The three-pound satellite, which is in regards to the dimensions of a softball, experiences "the habits of particle dampers in microgravity conditions", the university mentioned.

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Students have performed experiments with the CubeSat "in vacuum and 0 gravity however by no intention at the identical time - which will finest be finished in draw", the university mentioned.

It measures height by precisely timing how long it takes individual photons of light from a Laser to leave the satellite, bounce off Earth and return to the satellite.

The launch marked the unprecedented 100th successful flight of the Delta II rocket built by the United Launch Alliance (ULA), which over the course of 30 years lofted the first Global Positioning System satellites, deployed commercial telecommunication constellations and sent NASA robotic probes to explore and study the moon, Mars and the asteroids. "We are really looking forward to making those data available to the science community as quickly as possible so we can begin to explore what ICESat-2 can tell us about our complex home planet".

The launch was ULA's Delta II rocket's 153rd success - and its last because ULA is retiring the model.

A large sticker on the side of the huge launch pad noted the role of workers for the Delta II missions through the years saying "Dedicated to all the Employees, Suppliers, Customers and AF Range personnel who designed, built and launched the Delta II between 1989 and today". NASA's Launch Services Program, based at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, is responsible for launch service acquisition, integration, analysis and launch management.

"The Delta II rocket has been a primitive workhorse for NASA and civilian scientists, the US navy, and industrial customers all the intention by its almost 30 years of carrier", mentioned Bruno, ULA president and CEO.

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