Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Delta II set for final launch after almost 30 years

ICESAT-2 launch Final Delta 2 rocket launches $1 billion ice probe
Kristen Harrington | 16 September, 2018, 15:08

The scheduled time was 5:46 a.m. but it had a 40-minute launch window.

The ICESat-2 satellite - the acronym stands for Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite 2 - is the most sophisticated ice-monitoring spacecraft ever launched, equipped with advanced electronics and a laser that will fire 10,000 pulses per second at the ground below and then capture the faint reflections.

"It's been a very, very prominent part of space history", said Scott Messer, program manager for NASA programs at ULA, during a pre-launch press conference Wednesday (Sep. 13). The round trip is timed to a billionth of a second.

Florence 'unloading epic amounts of rainfall' in North Carolina
Rescued families were delivered to shelters, where approximately 20,000 people across the state were housed on Saturday. The White House said yesterday President Donald Trump had approved making federal funding available in some counties.

This was the 155th flight of a Delta II rocket.

The last Delta II rocket to lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force base left the launch pad at 6:02 am, PDT Saturday with a NASA Earth observation satellite payload. "ICESat-2 is going to do cutting-edge, scientific data gathering".

Importantly, the laser will measure the slope and height of the ice, not just the area it covers. A short time later, the rocket began releasing small satellites, or CubeSats, built by college students including those from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Scientists will be able to combine the new ice-related data with measurements captured by a variety of other satellites and instruments, helping scientists uncover hidden relationships between ice and other ocean and atmospheric phenomena - wind, current, temperature, precipitation and more.

Over 895,000 without power as Florence batters Carolinas
Grey clouds hovered over the stadium, with the wind picking up enough to blow around papers and knock ballcaps off heads. The swift-water rescues on Saturday morning were mostly of people who hadn't heeded those orders, said Burgaw Fire Capt.

For its send-off, a lighter variant of Delta II placed ICESat-2 - essentially a large laser radar (LIDAR) array with solar panels and thrusters - into a polar orbit, where it will work to measure and track changes in Earth's vast ice resources and will do so with extreme accuracy and precision.

After the satellite's separation, ULA's Tory Bruno announced that an unpurchased Delta II rocket will join the "rocket garden" display at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex at Cape Canaveral Florida.

ICESat-2 will operate in a series of orbits that will travel over the poles to allow it to monitor the ice sheets and glaciers, many of which are undergoing significant change. "I sincerely thank the entire ULA team, NASA, U.S. Air Force, and all of our partners and suppliers who have worked diligently to launch the final Delta II rocket, as well as the dedication of the teams throughout the past 29 years of the program".

Two people injured in Nimes after auto crashes into crowd
Witnesses said the man had tried to flee the scene but had been stopped by bystanders before being arrested by police at 1.30am. Local prosecutors said that the man was suffering from "relative mental confusion " and had been taken to hospital.

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