“ICESat-2 (Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite 2), part of NASA’s Earth Observing System, is a planned satellite mission for measuring ice sheet elevation, sea ice freeboard as well as land topography and vegetation characteristics. ICESat-2 is a planned follow-on to the ICESat mission. It will be launched in 2018 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California into a near-circular, near-polar orbit with an altitude of approximately 496 km. It is being designed to operate for 3 years, and will carry enough propellant for 7 years.
The ICESat-2 mission is designed to provide elevation data needed to determine ice sheet mass balance as well as vegetation canopy information. It will provide topography measurements of cities, lakes and reservoirs, oceans and land surfaces around the globe, in addition to the polar-specific coverage.
The ICESat-2 project is being managed by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. The sole instrument is being designed and built by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and the bus is being provided by Orbital ATK. The satellite will launch on a Delta II rocket provided by United Launch Alliance. As of November 2017 this is the last planned launch of the Delta ll launch vehicle.
The sole ...