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United Launch Alliance to Launch NASA’s ICESat-2

By | September 13, 2018
NASA’'s ICESAT-2 spacecraft arrives at the Astrotech Space Operations facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Photo: U.S. Air Force/Vanessa Valentine (PRNewsfoto/NASA)

NASA’’s IceSAT-2 spacecraft arrives at the Astrotech Space Operations facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Photo: U.S. Air Force/Vanessa Valentine (PRNewsfoto/NASA)

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta II rocket is in final preparations to launch NASA‘s Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 (IceSat-2) spacecraft from Space Launch Complex-2 on Sept. 15. This marks the final launch of the Delta II rocket, which first launched on Feb. 14, 1989.

IceSat-2, with its single instrument, the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS), will provide scientists with height measurements to create a global portrait of Earth’s third dimension, gathering data that can precisely track changes of terrain including glaciers, sea ice, forests and more. Northrop Grumman built the spacecraft. In addition to IceSat-2, this mission includes four CubeSats which will launch from dispensers mounted to the Delta II second stage.

This mission will launch aboard a Delta II 7420-10 configuration rocket, which includes a 10-foot-Diameter Payload Fairing (PLF). The booster for this mission is powered by the RS-27A engine and the second stage is powered by the AJ10-118K engine. To date, ULA has a track record of 100 percent mission success with 129 successful launches.