ULA achieves 100 launch success streak with NASA’s ICESat-2 LIDAR satellite

ICESAT-2 launch

The first Delta 2 lifted off on February 14, 1989, and since then it has been the launch vehicle for Global Positioning System orbiters, Earth observing and commercial satellites, and interplanetary missions including the twin Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity. Aside from measuring the height of Earth's land ice sheets (predominately located in Greenland and the Antarctic), ICESat-2's orbital LIDAR array will also be able to make less accurate but still useful measurements of changes in sea ice (particularly in the Arctic Ocean) and vegetation (tree canopies), the latter of which can help estimate and track global biomass changes.

The last launch is set for Saturday morning, September 15 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The mission is a successor to the original Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite that operated from 2003 to 2009.

Known as laser altimetry, ATLAS is a rather exceptional example of LIDAR's space-based utility and has been created to reliably measure ice-sheet elevation changes of as little as 4mm per year, despite the fact that it will orbit 500 km (310 mi) above Earth's surface at a velocity of 7.8 km/s (4.9 mi/s).

ICESat-2 suffered delays because of problems with ATLAS, notably a failure of one of its lasers.

Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother have officially been cancelled
Earlier in the year, Channel 5 boss Ben Frow revealed that the reality show's contract runs out later this year. In recent years the show has been overshadowed in both ratings and press coverage by ITV2's Love Island.

Image: The Delta II rocket waits on the service tower for takeoff. "The instrument, the ATLAS instrument, took longer than we thought". Once a mainstay of both government and commercial customers, the vehicle went through a gradual phaseout after the U.S. Air Force shifted payloads like Global Positioning System satellites to EELV-class rockets, including ULA's Atlas 5 and Delta 4 and, more recently, SpaceX's Falcon 9. If it goes up without a hitch, it will be the 100th successful launch in a row.

"Three, two one, liftoff!" said a launch commentator on NASA television.

"I'm a little bit sad".

Delta 2 rockets have launched scores of and satellite telephone relay stations, seven Mars missions - including the Pathfinder, Spirit and Opportunity rovers - Earth observation satellites, commercial payloads and trail-blazing NASA science probes, including the planet-hunting Kepler space telescope.

If all proceeds to plan, the Delta II's second stage AJ10-118K engine will reignite for 6 seconds at 47 minutes into the mission before deploying ICESat-2 into orbit.

Related:

  • Russians suspected of Swiss lab break

    Russians suspected of Swiss lab break

    The men were arrested in The Hague as part of an operation involving British, Swiss and Dutch intelligence agencies. Bucher said he did not know about the Russians being identified, detained or expelled from the Netherlands.
    Govt committed to keep fiscal deficit within budgetary target, says Jaitley

    Govt committed to keep fiscal deficit within budgetary target, says Jaitley

    He added that CBDT was "very clear" that this year the government would be able to collect taxes in excess of the budgeted target. It also chose to curb non-essential imports and increase exports. "We are optimistic about our growth rate and tax collection".
    Toronto Liberal MPs slam Ford's 'heavy-handed' use of notwithstanding clause

    Toronto Liberal MPs slam Ford's 'heavy-handed' use of notwithstanding clause

    While Conservative pundits were quick to defend Ford, members of the Conservative party have been largely quiet on the topic until now.
  • National Hurricane Center Updates Current Status of Tropical Storm Florence

    National Hurricane Center Updates Current Status of Tropical Storm Florence

    In New Bern , at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers in North Carolina, the storm surge overwhelmed the town of 30,000. Wind speeds are kicking up far from the coast in central SC as Hurricane Florence slowly makes its way along the coast.
    US calls special meeting at UN as countries ‘undermine’ NK sanctions

    US calls special meeting at UN as countries ‘undermine’ NK sanctions

    The Seoul government said that their joining has nothing to do with efforts to resume the operation of the park. South Korea will station around 20 officials there, while the North will deploy 15-20 officials to the office.
    West Nile Virus Positive Test Confirmed in Gage County

    West Nile Virus Positive Test Confirmed in Gage County

    Health officials emphasize the importance of people taking precautions as suggested by the CDC to keep mosquitoes from biting. James Tomarken today reported one human case of West Nile virus in Suffolk County, the first human case reported this year.
  • Man, 26, dies after being attacked by a shark in Cape Cod

    Man, 26, dies after being attacked by a shark in Cape Cod

    Michael Hurley told The Associated Press that the victim was a man in his mid-20s, but his identity has not been disclosed. He sustained severe injuries to his legs and is still recovering in hospital. "Right spot, wrong time, I guess".
    Syria thwarts Israel attack on Damascus airport

    Syria thwarts Israel attack on Damascus airport

    A war monitoring group said the attack targeted an arms depot for Iranian forces or Lebanon's Hezbollah group. The strike attributed to Israel also reportedly targeted several weapons storage rooms at the airport.
    AJ Green has career night in little more than a quarter

    AJ Green has career night in little more than a quarter

    An interception by Flacco on the offense's second drive gave the Bengals a head start at the Baltimore 16-yard line. That's powerful brooding about he in overall doesn't reach discontinuance to his easiest under the lights.
  • Sewing needles have been found DELIBERATELY hidden inside strawberries

    Sewing needles have been found DELIBERATELY hidden inside strawberries

    Authorities are continuing to liaise with retailers to ensure that all stock from the affected date have been removed from sale. In case you missed the news, there have been seven confirmed cases now of strawberries with needles found in them .
    Texas A&M replaces Texas as most valuable college program

    Texas A&M replaces Texas as most valuable college program

    The most recent conference championship for any of those programs came in 2009, when the Longhorns won the Big 12 title. Per the report, the Aggies' average revenue over the course of the last three seasons amounts to $148 million.
    The Impact Of Hurricane Florence

    The Impact Of Hurricane Florence

    European astronaut Alexander Gerst shared images of Florence's eye wall from space, calling the storm a "no-kidding nightmare". Florence is anticipated to move slowly over eastern South Carolina Friday night through Saturday night.

Comments

Latest news

Hurricane Florence closes in on Carolinas
Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help in the storm's aftermath, it said. Hurricane Florence is at the doorstep of North and SC , and she's not going away anytime soon.

Man drives car into crowd in southern France, wounding two
Police in southern France arrested a man on suspicion of attempted murder after he allegedly sent his auto into pedestrians. Local prosecutors said that the man was suffering from "relative mental confusion " and had been taken to hospital.

Carolina coast braces for 'Mike Tyson punch' from hurricane
Slower hurricanes - such as Hurricane Harvey - can dump more rain on an area before moving on, adding to their destructive power. Moreover, high tides around noon and midnight these next few days will make the storm surges even worse, Samson said.

Death toll rises to 11 as Florence continues battering US East Coast
Spanish moss waved in the trees as the winds picked up in Wilmington, and floating docks bounced atop swells at Morehead City. Hurricane Florence, now a tropical storm, is tearing through the Carolinas with heavy rainfall and 50 miles per hour wind .

Rugby Championship: South Africa stun New Zealand in Wellington
Two late tries nearly rescued this outstanding match for New Zealand, who outscored South Africa by six tries to five. Ioane scored his second try of the match, but that was cancelled out by Dyantyi's second effort.

Hurricane Florence Shifts Course, Will Make a 'Grand Tour' of Southeastern States
In Wilmington , Solange Iliou Thompson closed down her restaurant, Indochine, because all of her employees had left the city. The NHC notes that amount of rainfall would "produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding".

Chelsea's Eden Hazard 'can score 40 goals' this season - Maurizio Sarri
Cardiff has two points from five games . "Here is John Terry's home". Eden Hazard is now the top goal scorer in the Premier League.

Ibrahimovic: I'm happy for Toronto, they'll be remembered as my 500th victim
Galaxy were trailing 3-0 at the time but Ibrahimovic's goal sparked a comeback as they pulled level, before eventually falling to a 5-3 defeat.

Eight Killed as Florence Dumps 'Epic' Rain on Carolinas
Meanwhile, in SC , at least one gator seemed to be cool with the outer bands of wind and rain that whipped the Myrtle Beach area. That, and the storm's vast circumference of hundreds of miles, means Wilmington will be inundated with rain, the advisory said.

U.S. border agent charged in 2-week killing spree
Border Patrol agent is in custody in connection with the killings of four women and the kidnapping of a fifth in Texas. Authorities say one woman Ortiz had abducted escaped early Saturday morning and she was able to alert authorities.

Liverpool show how far they've come while Tottenham appear to be stuck
A lot of people watch our games when we play Champions League and that's our job that we do the best we can do in all these games. Firmino found the back of the net very early in the game, but his effort was ruled out for offside.

Texas Board of Education votes to remove Hillary Clinton from history curriculum
In addition, the board voted to add famed evangelist Billy Graham back to the curriculum following his death in February. And third-grade social studies teachers have long taught students about Keller's life of activism.

Prince Harry's wedding ring is different from other royal men
They both agreed that incessantly being in the public eye is the most stressful and emotionally draining part of being a Royal. Photo: Reuters Meghan Markle , right, and her mother Doria Ragland Meghan Markle with her dogs Guy and Bogart.

Friends' Matthew Perry has been in hospital for THREE MONTHS
It was not clear when Matthew Perry could be released from the hospital for his latest bout with gastrointestinal issues. Over time, Matthew worked hard towards sobriety and now owns his own sober-living facility named Perry House.

'Relentless rains' continue as Florence almost stalls over Carolinas
More than 80,000 people were already without power as the storm began buffeting the coast, and more than 12,000 were in shelters. But it was clear that this was really about the water, not the wind . "WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the city tweeted around 2 a.m.

Other news