United Launch Alliance (ULA) announced today that the last Delta II rocket will join a lineup of historic rockets in the Rocket Garden on display at NASA's Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Cape Canaveral, Fla.
NASA is expected this month to launch its newest sentinel to monitor the melting poles, the $1 billion Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat-2).
Delta II rockets have been used for missions including the Phoenix Mars Lander, plus all operational Global Positioning System missions, as well as commercial missions. Thanks to ICESat-2, the rocket went out with a streak of 100 successful launches in a row.
Engineers building and testing the Advance Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS) for the ICESat-2 mission at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
An artist's depiction of the ICESat-2 satellite at work studying Earth's ice sheets. Each laser in a pair sits 295 feet (90 meters) apart, and each pair of lasers lies 2.1 miles (3.3 kilometers) from one another.
It is the USA space agency's most advanced laser satellite and will use its range of capabilities to accurately measure sea levels and sea ice cover.
The satellite's powerful lasers will send 10,000 pulses per second down to the surface of the Earth.
News Report Sep 15 2018 08:56 AM by 1 Comments Reads 325
Liftoff came at 6:02 a.m. PT from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, after a slight delay in the countdown due to concerns about the chilldown of the rocket's helium bottles.
The tiny CubeSats were designed and built by UCLA, University of Central Florida, and Cal Poly to conduct research in space weather, changing electric potential and resulting discharge events on spacecraft and damping behavior of tungsten powder in a zero-gravity environment.
"I'm a little bit melancholy about this", said Tim Dunn, NASA launch director, at the briefing.
"We are really looking forward to making those data available to the science community as quickly as possible so we can begin to explore what ICESat-2 can tell us about our complex home planet", Markus added.
The laser is created to fire 10,000 times per second, divided into six beams of hundreds of trillions of photons. Measurements will be taken every 0.7m along the satellite's path.
"This allows the mission to look at the same piece of Earth in each of the four seasons, enabling scientists to use that data to characterize the changes that they're observing", Neumann said.
The Delta II has carried the majority of the Iridium communication satellites in orbit between 1998 and 2002.More news: Novichok Suspects 'Have Anything To With Putin', Says Russia