NASA has planned to launch its Ice or ICESat-2 (Cloud and land Evaluation Satellite-2) on Saturday. This new satellite would provide a significant amount of help to researchers in measuring the height of natural features on the Earth. The ICESat-2 will measure Earth’s ice changes during entire year with the help of a powerful onboard laser. NASA pointed out that it will monitor retreating glaciers, shrinking sea ice, and melting ice sheets. The frozen parts on the Earth have shown dramatic rates of changing. Its impacts will increase sea level and changes in weather patterns around the planet.
The major mission of ICESat-2 will be gathering incredibly accurate measurements of ice on our Earth including the height of various other features such as clouds, forests, and oceans. This new satellite is equipped with ATLAS (Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System). It will send laser light pulses down to Earth and record how long the light photons of laser bouncing back to the satellite.
The collected information will be converted into a height measure. At least 10 thousand pulses/ second will be sent from ATLAS. Each pulse will contain more than 20 trillion photons. Just dozens will make it back up to ICESat-2 and a trip might take 3.3 milliseconds. The satellite will take 3 months in making a full orbit around the Earth. It will allow ICESat-2 to collect actual measurements of every season. NASA has planned to launch the satellite on Saturday, September 15th, 2018 at 5:46 AM.