Webcast: NASA launch ICESat-2 satellite for studying the Earth's ice cover
Tracking of ice on the Earth's surface level is important as never before. Noting the changes in the climate, climate scientists are trying to identify and study the causes. For example, they need to identify the extent of the impact of melting glaciers on the world's oceans and to calculate the amount of forest in each territory.
to perform this operation rocket Delta II displays ICESat-2 satellite into orbit 496 km altitude over ocean level. It is noteworthy that the rocket operated for over 30 years, so this will be the last mission for her.
To scan the surface of the Earth the satellite will use ATLAS lidar. Radiating 10,000 laser pulses per second, for three years, he will capture the changes in the Earth's landscape. A complete revolution around the Earth will take place every six months, will focus on snow, ice and forest areas. Each pulse consists of a trillion photons. They will bounce off the surface of the planet - the time it takes the path of beams back and forth will create a detailed map of heights. It is expected that the calculations are so precise that will show even a millimeter melting glaciers in Greenland.
The launch will be held on the launch pad SLC-2W, located in California's Vandenberg Air Force base. A live webcast of the launch will begin September 15 at 15:46 Moscow time on the NASA YouTube-channel.
The first device ICESat with the same challenge was launched in 2003 and worked for 6 years. His main instrument was the lidar GLAS, emitting only 40 pulses per second.
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