NEW YORK, September 15. /TASS/. US-based United Launch Alliance (ULA) launched the ICESat-2 satellite to study the Earth’s ice cover atop its Delta II carrier rocket on Saturday.
The launch was conducted from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and was broadcast live on the company’s website. It was the final flight of the Delta II rocket, which has been in use since 1989.
ICESat-2 was designed, among other things, to monitor and measure the thickness of ice cap at the Earth’s North and South Pole. The satellite’s primary instrument will pulse its laser at Earth 10,000 times a second and precisely measure the time it takes the beams to bounce off the ground and return to ICESat-2 to deduce the elevation below within the accuracy of 4 millimeters.
ULA was founded in 2006. It is a joint enterprise of aviation giants Boeing and Lockheed Martin.