ICESat-2 Proceeds Toward Launch Sept. 15

ICESat-2 mission logoNASA’s Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2, or ICESat-2, mission and launch teams today concluded a successful Launch Readiness Review. There are no technical issues being worked at this time. Teams are proceeding toward liftoff from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base on Saturday, Sept. 15, at 5:46 a.m. PDT (8:46 a.m. EDT) on a United Launch Alliance Delta II, the rocket’s final mission.

ICESat-2 will measure the height of our changing Earth, one laser pulse at a time, 10,000 laser pulses per second. The satellite will carry a single instrument, the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS), which measures the travel times of laser pulses to calculate the distance between the spacecraft and Earth’s surface. ICESat-2 will provide scientists with height measurements that create a global portrait of Earth’s third dimension, gathering data that can precisely track changes of terrain, including glaciers, sea ice and forests.

The U.S. Air Force 30th Space Wing weather officer indicated that they are predicting a 100 percent chance of favorable weather on launch day.