September 4, 2018 – NASA’s Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2), a mission to measure the changing height of Earth’s ice, is scheduled to launch Saturday, September 15, with a 40-minute window opening at 6:46 MDT (8:46 a.m. EDT).
The spacecraft will lift off from Space Launch Complex 2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on the final launch of a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket. Coverage of prelaunch and launch activities begins Thursday, September 13, on NASA Television and the agency’s website.
ICESat-2 will carry a single instrument, the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS), which will send 10,000 laser pulses a second to Earth’s surface and measure the height of ice sheets, glaciers, sea ice and vegetation by calculating the time it takes the pulses to return to the spacecraft. The precise and complete coverage afforded by ICESat-2 will enable researchers to track changes in land and sea ice with unparalleled detail, which will inform our understanding of what drives these changes.
NASA will host a prelaunch briefing at 4 p.m. September 13 with:
Media and the public may ask questions during the briefing using #askNASA.
Launch coverage begins at 8:10 a.m. September 15 with a weather update and live interviews leading up to the launch window opening at 8:46 a.m.
Additional information on the mission, and prelaunch and launch events is available at: