Close
Date TimeSeptember 15, 2018
VoiceNASA on Saturday launched its most advanced laser device into space to measure changes in the heights of Earth's polar ice, as well as other topographical features.
The Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2, or ICESat-2, launched shortly after 9 a.m. ET from Vandenberg Air Force Base near Lompoc, California.
NASA  launches laser device into space to measure Earths polar ice
A United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket carried ICESat-2 into orbit, where it will travel at speeds of more than 15,000 mph. The satellite is equipped with an Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS), which will send 10,000 laser pulses per second to Earth to measure the height of ice sheets, glaciers, forests and bodies of water. It will do this by calculating how long it takes for individual photons that leave the instrument to ricochet off Earth and return to the satellite.
NASA said the mission will add a "third dimension" to its study of Earth. Agency satellites already provide a constant stream of detailed images of the planet's changing geographical features. ICESat-2 will add height measurements -- accurate to a fraction of a centimeter -- to the mix.
NASA  launches laser device into space to measure Earths polar ice
"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 said in a statement.
Scientists already know that global warming is causing polar ice to melt and sea levels to rise. This mission will reveal how quickly it is happening and where most of the melting is occurring. With that data, scientists can forecast its likely impact on the world.
Flying above the Arctic with NASA
ICESat-2 will "extend and improve" upon NASA's initial ICESat mission, launched in 2003, the agency said in a statement.
Doug McLennan, ICESat-2 project manager, said in a mission briefing on Thursday that he expected the launch to occur as scheduled.
"It was a very challenging mission to come up with," said McLennan. "The instrument, the ATLAS instrument, took longer than we thought. But now, everything is buttoned up and sitting on top of that rocket ready to go and we're very, very excited."
NASA tweeted on Saturday: "3-2-1... and we have liftoff." The tweet included a video of the successful launch.

Related Stories
NASA’s initiative to put a woman on the Moon is named Artemis, after Apollo’s twin sisterNASA’s initiative to put a woman on the Moon is named Artemis, after Apollo’s twin sister
NASA Needs $1.6 Billion More to Send a Human to the MoonNASA Needs $1.6 Billion More to Send a Human to the Moon
SpaceX will launch its first 60 satellites to deliver internet from spaceSpaceX will launch its first 60 satellites to deliver internet from space
Jeff Bezos Builds a Moon ShipJeff Bezos Builds a Moon Ship
NASAs Mars Helicopter Testing Enters Final PhaseNASA's Mars Helicopter Testing Enters Final Phase
Earthquake in Cleveland, Ohio: United States Geological Survey confirmed a 4.0 magnitude quakeEarthquake in Cleveland, Ohio: United States Geological Survey confirmed a 4.0 magnitude quake
NASA captures stunning photo of the entire sky in X-rayNASA captures stunning photo of the entire sky in X-ray
Trump Tweets About Moon, Mars, the Internet Scratches Its HeadTrump Tweets About Moon, Mars, the Internet Scratches Its Head
Elon Musks SpaceX raises over $1 billion this year as internet satellite production ramps upElon Musk's SpaceX raises over $1 billion this year as internet satellite production ramps up
Jeff Bezos explains why hes trying to colonise the moon: We need to go to the moon to save the EarthJeff Bezos explains why he's trying to colonise the moon: 'We need to go to the moon to save the Earth'
News Trends
Mohamed Morsy, ousted Egyptian president, dies in courtMohamed Morsy, ousted Egyptian president, dies in court
Gary Woodland has more than the US Open to celebrateGary Woodland has more than the US Open to celebrate
All The Celebrity Cameos In Taylor Swifts You Need To Calm Down Music VideoAll The Celebrity Cameos In Taylor Swift's You Need To Calm Down Music Video
Gloria Vanderbilt: farewell fashions innovative heiressGloria Vanderbilt: farewell fashion's innovative heiress
Harvard rescinds offer to Kyle Kashuv, pro-Second Amendment Parkland survivor, due to past remarks, he saysHarvard rescinds offer to Kyle Kashuv, pro-Second Amendment Parkland survivor, due to past remarks, he says
Lee Bowyer set to leave Charlton after failing to reach contract agreementLee Bowyer set to leave Charlton after failing to reach contract agreement
Taylor Swift Just Revealed All The Celebrities Who Will Appear In Her Upcoming VideoTaylor Swift Just Revealed All The Celebrities Who Will Appear In Her Upcoming Video
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Share Touching New Image of Baby ArchiePrince Harry and Meghan Markle Share Touching New Image of Baby Archie
Bella Thornes Ex Mod Sun Breaks Down the Passport SituationBella Thorne's Ex Mod Sun Breaks Down the Passport Situation
Usain Bolt Grinds On Hot IG Model Zahra EliseUsain Bolt Grinds On Hot IG Model Zahra Elise
Leaders
Donald-TrumpDonald Trump
45th President of the United States of America
Mike-PenceMike Pence
Vice President of the United States
Theresa-MayTheresa May
British Prime Minister
Angela-MerkelAngela Merkel
Chancellor of Germany
Emmanuel-MacronEmmanuel Macron
President of France
Justin-TrudeauJustin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
Nancy-PelosiNancy Pelosi
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
Barack-ObamaBarack Obama
44th U.S. President
Vladimir-PutinVladimir Putin
Russian President
Shinzo-AbeShinzō Abe
Prime Minister of Japan
Related Stories
NASA’s initiative to put a woman on the Moon is named Artemis, after Apollo’s twin sisterNASA’s initiative to put a woman on the Moon is named Artemis, after Apollo’s twin sister
NASA Needs $1.6 Billion More to Send a Human to the MoonNASA Needs $1.6 Billion More to Send a Human to the Moon
SpaceX will launch its first 60 satellites to deliver internet from spaceSpaceX will launch its first 60 satellites to deliver internet from space
Jeff Bezos Builds a Moon ShipJeff Bezos Builds a Moon Ship
NASAs Mars Helicopter Testing Enters Final PhaseNASA's Mars Helicopter Testing Enters Final Phase
Earthquake in Cleveland, Ohio: United States Geological Survey confirmed a 4.0 magnitude quakeEarthquake in Cleveland, Ohio: United States Geological Survey confirmed a 4.0 magnitude quake
NASA captures stunning photo of the entire sky in X-rayNASA captures stunning photo of the entire sky in X-ray
Trump Tweets About Moon, Mars, the Internet Scratches Its HeadTrump Tweets About Moon, Mars, the Internet Scratches Its Head
Elon Musks SpaceX raises over $1 billion this year as internet satellite production ramps upElon Musk's SpaceX raises over $1 billion this year as internet satellite production ramps up
Jeff Bezos explains why hes trying to colonise the moon: We need to go to the moon to save the EarthJeff Bezos explains why he's trying to colonise the moon: 'We need to go to the moon to save the Earth'
News Trends
Mohamed Morsy, ousted Egyptian president, dies in courtMohamed Morsy, ousted Egyptian president, dies in court
Gary Woodland has more than the US Open to celebrateGary Woodland has more than the US Open to celebrate
All The Celebrity Cameos In Taylor Swifts You Need To Calm Down Music VideoAll The Celebrity Cameos In Taylor Swift's You Need To Calm Down Music Video
Gloria Vanderbilt: farewell fashions innovative heiressGloria Vanderbilt: farewell fashion's innovative heiress
Harvard rescinds offer to Kyle Kashuv, pro-Second Amendment Parkland survivor, due to past remarks, he saysHarvard rescinds offer to Kyle Kashuv, pro-Second Amendment Parkland survivor, due to past remarks, he says
Lee Bowyer set to leave Charlton after failing to reach contract agreementLee Bowyer set to leave Charlton after failing to reach contract agreement
Taylor Swift Just Revealed All The Celebrities Who Will Appear In Her Upcoming VideoTaylor Swift Just Revealed All The Celebrities Who Will Appear In Her Upcoming Video
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Share Touching New Image of Baby ArchiePrince Harry and Meghan Markle Share Touching New Image of Baby Archie
Bella Thornes Ex Mod Sun Breaks Down the Passport SituationBella Thorne's Ex Mod Sun Breaks Down the Passport Situation
Usain Bolt Grinds On Hot IG Model Zahra EliseUsain Bolt Grinds On Hot IG Model Zahra Elise
Leaders
Donald-TrumpDonald Trump
45th President of the United States of America
Mike-PenceMike Pence
Vice President of the United States
Theresa-MayTheresa May
British Prime Minister
Angela-MerkelAngela Merkel
Chancellor of Germany
Emmanuel-MacronEmmanuel Macron
President of France
Justin-TrudeauJustin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
Nancy-PelosiNancy Pelosi
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
Barack-ObamaBarack Obama
44th U.S. President
Vladimir-PutinVladimir Putin
Russian President
Shinzo-AbeShinzō Abe
Prime Minister of Japan
Liverpool's Klopp plays down Kane fatigue concerns ahead of Spurs clash
Hurricane Florence latest: Donald Trump set to visit areas RAVAGED by STORM
A Simple Favor lets Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively put their stamp on camp
Moeen Ali: I was called 'Osama' by Australia player during 2015 Ashes
US, Russia Respond to Space Station Leak Rumors
Carrie Underwood Proudly Shows Off Baby Bump Ahead Of Album Release — Sweet Pic
Whirlwind Wedding! Justin Bieber Marries Hailey Baldwin Two Months After Proposal: Sources
Former JLS singer Oritsé Williams charged with rape of fan
Secret letter accuses Brett Kavanaugh of attempting to ‘force himself’ on woman: Ronan Farrow report
Trump's Former Campaign Chairman, Paul Manafort, To Co-operate With Mueller Probe
Big Brother, where art thou? Channel 5 drops reality TV show
More than 185000 without power as Hurricane Florence lashes North Carolina coast
The Predator is back for action, as ugly as ever
Cynthia Nixon confident despite polls favoring Cuomo in New York primary
Nintendo Direct: Katamari Damacy Remaster Coming To Nintendo Switch In 2018
Boston explosions: homes burn after multiple gas blasts – video
Volkswagen to stop making its classic Beetle next year
SpaceX announces plan to send private passenger around the Moon
Julie Chen returns to ‘Big Brother,’ signs off using Moonves name
Cincinnati Bengals topple Baltimore Ravens and put league on notice with 2-0 start
Elon Musk Reveals Release Date and Price for Boring Company's Eco Bricks
Jeff Bezos Unveils Multibillion-Dollar Plans For Charitable Giving
David Wright Is Getting Better. But Will the Mets Allow His Return?
'Bachelor in Paradise' Star Jordan Kimball Admits He 'Got Played' By Jenna Cooper
Salisbury novichok suspects say they were only visiting cathedral
Roald Dahl Day: Who Is Your Favourite Character From The Memorable Books?
Donald Trump Rejects Hurricane Maria Death Toll, Claiming '3,000 People Did Not Die' In Puerto Rico
WOW! Astronauts on International Space Station showcase power of Hurricane Florence in photos
Google's Sergey Brin calls 2016 election 'offensive' in leaked video
Gunman kills 5--including wife-- before turning gun on himself, Bakersfield authorities say
'American Horror Story: Apocalypse' recap: 'AHS' is back to fine and freaky form
Kendall Jenner Fans Furious After Model Is Body Shamed For Naked Pics By 'Disgusting' Trolls'
Hurricane Florence path shifts: 'Storm of a lifetime' headed to Carolina coast
Henry Cavill to stop playing Superman, reports suggest
Got $1,100? Apple shows off its most expensive iPhone yet
Fenella Fielding, Carry On actor, dies aged 90
Second person in England diagnosed with monkeypox
The Bachelor Alum Amanda Stanton Arrested for Alleged Domestic Violence Against Boyfriend
Elizabeth Smart reacts to news that woman who helped kidnap her will be released
Review: McConaughey gives heart to 'White Boy Rick'
Hurricane Florence: Terrifying storm could be upgraded to Category 5 before landfall
Ariana Grande Was 'Deeply Helpful and Effective' in Ex Mac Miller's Sobriety, Says Friend
Elon Musk's Top SpaceX Deputy Says Her Boss Is Capable as Ever
Trump Honors Heroes of Flight 93 on Sept. 11 Anniversary
Mysterious Light Flashes Are Coming from Deep Space, and AI Just Found More of Them
Russia launches biggest war games since Cold War
Olivia Newton-John reveals she is using cannabis oil to treat pain as she battles cancer for third time
US marks 9/11 with somber tributes, new monument to victims
Mark Carney agrees to stay at Bank of England until January 2020
Cartoonist defends controversial portrayal of Serena Williams
Nick Leeson admits 'CBB is harder than prison' as he leaves in fourth place
Hurricane Florence: more than 1m ordered to evacuate in South Carolina and Virginia
Nicki Minaj Hits Back At Cardi B After Fashion Week Altercation
Darnold marches Jets past Lions in NFL opener blowout
Toronto: Lady Gaga Moved to Tears During 'A Star is Born' Premiere
Trump fires back at Obama, boasts he's got 'magic wand' on economy
LinkedIn Dynamic Ads Are Now Available on a Self-Serve Basis via Campaign Manager
John Bolton threatens war crimes court with sanctions in virulent attack
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Blackout battle royale closed beta goes live
Lady Gaga Opens Up About A Star Is Born, MeToo, and a Decade in Pop
Golden Knights trade for Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty
Strengthening Hurricane Florence targets U.S. southeast
World Suicide Prevention Day: Why We All Need To Stop Saying 'Committed Suicide'
Trump Says Tariffs Mean Ford Can Make New Model at Home. Ford Says It Won't
SpaceX Launches New Communications Satellite, Sticks Rocket Landing
Miss America 2019: Miss New York Nia Franklin is crowned the winner
Kylie and Jason dance again live in Hyde Park
With 'Superstar' Emmy, John Legend, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice are now EGOT winners
Novak Djokovic powers past Juan Martín del Potro to win third US Open
Aaron Rodgers Leads Packers to Heroic Comeback vs. Mitchell Trubisky, Bears
SpaceX Will Launch Telstar Communications Satellite Tonight: How to Watch Live
Meghan Markle Pregnancy Rumors Grow As Mom Is Spotted Taking Baby Care Classes
Florence upgraded to hurricane, could threaten East Coast this week
Strictly Come Dancing 2018: Katie Piper spills ALL on being partnered with Gorka Marquez
Reports: Steelers' Le'Veon Bell misses deadline, won't play Sunday vs. Browns
‘All American’ Team Talks Portrayal of Class Differences, LGBTQ Community
Before the Shoe Came Off: The History of Nicki Minaj and Cardi B's Beef
North Korea stages huge military parade to mark 70th anniversary
Mike Pence denies discussing plan to remove Donald Trump from power
Avengers 4: Cate Blanchett up for Hela return – Is she in Avengers Infinity War sequel?
Kentucky ends 31-game losing streak to Florida
Kanye West shouts at reporter over Kim K, Tyson Beckford feud question at Ralph Lauren event
Serena Williams accuses officials of sexism and vows to 'fight for women'
Miss America 2019: What day, time, channel, what to know about pageant controversy
Can CEOs Get Away With Smoking Pot?
Walking Pile of Fecal Matter George Zimmerman Allegedly Threatened Beyoncé over Trayvon Documentary
Ariana Grande's ex, rapper Mac Miller found dead
Nicki Minaj and Cardi B get into major scuffle at fashion week bash
Kanye West, Lil Pump Get Raunchy in Cartoonish 'I Love It' Video
Trump tells supporters it'll be 'your fault' if he gets impeached
UEFA Nations League: Paul Pogba discusses future, Gareth Bale enjoys Wales win
Boris Johnson and Marina Wheeler announce divorce
Jimmy Fallon and Paul McCartney shock unsuspecting 30 Rock visitors with elevator prank
Netflix’s ‘Sierra Burgess Is A Loser’ Fails To Make Catfishing Romantic
Jobs Report for August: What to Watch For
Tesla chief Elon Musk smokes marijuana on live web show
NASA Will Launch 2 Rockets to Test a Mars Parachute and Track 'Nanoflares'
In 1974, They Gave The Nobel To Her Supervisor. Now She's Won A $3 Million Prize
Meghan Markle Just Wore Her Bling in an Unexpected Place!
Watch Kendall Jenner Nail Her Very First ''Okurrr!'' on The Tonight Show
Elon Musk and the Meaning of 'Off the Record'
Bitcoin bloodbath: Cryptocurrency plunges 20% in two days
Janet Street-Porter Defends Coleen Nolan Amid Backlash Over Kim Woodburn 'Loose Women' Interview
Review: Jennifer Garner seeks bloody revenge in 'Peppermint'
The Nun review – a clueless Conjuring cash-in that summons zero scares
Burt Reynolds's most memorable performances – video
Serena Williams swats aside Sevastova to set up US Open final with Naomi Osaka
Twitter permanently bans conspiracy theorist Alex Jones
Tony Blair not sure Labour can be wrestled back from Corbyn
Eagles top Falcons in NFL season opener
British Airways customer data stolen from its website
Reports: Burt Reynolds, star of 'Deliverance' and 'Smokey and the Bandit,' dies at 82
First lady Melania Trump condemns anonymous NYT op-ed writer as 'cowardly'
Four dead, including gunman, in Cincinnati bank shooting
Cory Booker broke the rules to show he can play Donald Trump's game
Laura Ingraham: New York Times' op-ed and the unrelenting vendetta against Trump – RIP journalism
Body identified as missing 19-year-old Kiera Bergman
Gordon dumps heavy rains, Hurricane Florence barrels toward Bermuda
Japan earthquake: Aerial pictures show devastating landslides in Hokkaido
Dolores O'Riordan drowned in bath, inquest finds
Hope dwindles as NASA's Opportunity rover refuses to contact Earth
Roy Moore sues Sacha Baron Cohen for $95m over Who Is America? stunt
Novak Djokovic ends John Millman's US Open run to reach semis
'Lodestar' John McCain quoted in anonymous 'New York Times' essay attacking Donald Trump
Physicists solve an age-old conundrum: the chicken or the egg
Asia Argento now says teen Jimmy Bennett 'sexually attacked' her in 2013
Elon Musk Calls Thai Cave Diver Hero A ‘Child Rapist’ As He Escalates Baseless Feud
Jimmy Kimmel on people burning Nike products: 'Why not burn your money?'
Rubio to InfoWars' Alex Jones: 'Don't touch me'
'Captain Marvel' Partially Inspired By 'Terminator 2'
Space Station Leak May Have Been Caused by Human Error, Russian Reports Say
Amazon Hits $1000000000000 in Value, Following Apple
In 'Fear,' Bob Woodward Pulls Back the Curtain on President Trump's 'Crazytown'
Wanderlust review – the steamiest show on TV? Let’s just say there are some exciting new possibilities
Rachael Bland, host of cancer podcast You, Me and the Big C, dies at 40
Salisbury novichok poisonings: police name two Russian suspects
Brett Kavanaugh: protests disrupt Senate supreme court hearing
Bob Woodward's book details Trump's chaotic and dysfunctional White House
John Lewis department store cuts 270 jobs as it rebrands
NASA will pay you up to $750000 to come up with a way to turn CO2 into other molecules on Mars
You, Me and the Big C host Rachael Bland has ‘only days to live’
After 17 years of war, Taliban field commanders signal openness to peace talks
Colin Kaepernick becomes the face of Nike's Just Do It campaign
John Millman punishes off-key Roger Federer in stunning US Open upset
Planet Nine may exist, but it might be hiding behind Neptune
Michelle Obama Hugs a Crying Kanye West in Childish Gambino's New Animated Music Video
Trump criticizes union leader on Labor Day: 'It is easy to see why unions are doing so poorly'
Machine Gun Kelly Pops Bottle in Celebration of Eminem's 'Kamikaze' Diss
Steve Bannon: Australia is on ‘frontlines’ of economic war with China
Jacqueline Pearce, Blake's 7 and Doctor Who actor, dies aged 74
Serena Williams hits 18 aces in U.S. Open win; Isner into quarterfinal
Chris Evans to leave Radio 2 breakfast show
10 shot at San Bernardino apartment complex
Bills pick Nathan Peterman over Josh Allen as starting QB for opener
Tropical Storm Gordon forms near Florida Keys
'Vanity Fair': Here's What It's Really Like To Bring A Big Budget Adaptation Of The Classic Novel To Life
Broncos cut 2016 first-round QB Paxton Lynch after adding former Redskin Kevin Hogan
Why we celebrate Labor Day, a holiday that had a violent start
Reuters reporters jailed for seven years in Myanmar
Boris Johnson Savages Theresa May's Chequers Brexit Plan
No. 25 LSU off and running with 33-17 win over No. 8 Miami
Australian Instagram influencer Sinead McNamara found dead on billionaire’s yacht in Greece
Lily Allen Reveals She Slept With Female Escorts On Tour
Lukaku double gives Manchester United victory but Rashford sees red at Burnley
SpaceX 7 months away from 1st crewed test flight
Box Office: 'Crazy Rich Asians' Drops Just 16% For $6M Friday
Pentagon suspends $300M in military aid to Pakistan
Italian GP: Fernando Alonso 'thinks he is a god', says Kevin Magnussen
Brexit TURMOIL: May's Chequers plan DENOUNCED and campaign to DERAIL agreement launched
Bishop Apologizes to Ariana Grande for 'Too Friendly' Grope During Aretha Franklin Funeral
Kendall Jenner Hangs Out With Anwar Hadid Amid Ben Simmons Split Rumors
Social media companies beware: Washington is watching you
Everyone seems to agree Musk needs help running Tesla — Here's who could do it
Trump threatens to leave Canada behind on NAFTA, warns Congress not to 'interfere'
Robbie Williams, Ayda Field, Louis Tomlinson: All change for X Factor 2018
Sadiq Khan balloon in pictures: London Mayor MOCKED as bikini blimp takes flight
Germany oil refinery EXPLOSION: Blast sparks HUGE fire – eight injured and 2,000 evacuated
Climate Change Could Completely Transform Earth's Ecosystems
A Star Is Born review – Lady Gaga mesmerises in Streisand's shoes
Reports: Raiders trading Khalil Mack to Bears
Alisson’s blushes spared as Liverpool edge to nervy win at Leicester
Nadal Survives Russian Threat to Advance at U.S. Open
Former ER actor Vanessa Marquez shot and killed by police
US Open 2018: Serena Williams Crushes Venus Williams in Flat Family Showdown
US ends aid to Palestinian refugee agency Unrwa
No. 13 Stanford beats San Diego St. 31-10 in season opener
No. 12 Michigan State escapes Utah State's upset bid late
Space Station Leak All Patched Up Now, NASA Says
Nicki Minaj Is Seeing Two Guys, But Not Seriously: 'I'm Just Chilling'
Canada Must Decide: It's Either a Nafta Deal or a Smaller Economy
Social media users are convinced Meghan McCain threw 'side-eye' at Pence during memorial
Bill Clinton gives tribute to Aretha Franklin, a woman with 'breathtaking talent'
Amsterdam stabbing: Police shoot suspect after stabbing at main tourist area
Brigitte Macron: Emmanuel’s stylish wife makes a tactical wardrobe change on Finland tour
Musicians honor 'love and legacy' of Aretha Franklin
Prince Harry 'knew how to save himself from collapsing in grief' during Princess Diana's funeral, book claims
International Space Station crew repair leak in Russian craft
Lady Gaga Admits She Sometimes Feels 'Insecure,' 'Lonely' and 'Ugly'
Inside Emmy Rossum's Public Fight for Equal Pay on Shameless
Apple Accidentally Reveals Radical New iPhone XS
Close