NASA Launches ICESat-2 to Measure Effect of Global Warming on Earth's Ice Cover

  • NASA has launched its ICESat-2 (Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2) satellite mission as part of its Earth Observing System on Saturday. The satellite was launched from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base with the help of NASA’s last Delta II rocket. The ICESat-2 satellite carries a single instrument called the ATLAS (Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System) that emits six-beam split laser lights pulsing at the rate of 10,000 times per second. ATLAS will help in measuring thickness of the Earth’s ice sheets, allowing program scientists observe changing polar ice sheets over time. The data sent by ICESat-2 will also be helpful in measuring growth of forest across Earth.