Delta II Launch from Vandenberg

The United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket with the NASA Ice Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 onboard

The United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket with the NASA Ice Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 onboard

A Delta 2 rocket lifted off September 15 carrying a NASA Earth science satellite on the final flight of a vehicle whose heritage dates back to the beginning of the Space Age. Aside from measuring the height of Earth's land ice sheets (predominately located in Greenland and the Antarctic), ICESat-2's orbital LIDAR array will also be able to make less accurate but still useful measurements of changes in sea ice (particularly in the Arctic Ocean) and vegetation (tree canopies), the latter of which can help estimate and track global biomass changes.

Team Vandenberg successfully launched a Delta II rocket carrying NASAs ICESat-2 payload from Space Launch Complex-2 here, Saturday, September 15, at 6:02 a.m. PDT.

The mission's tortured acronym stands for "Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellte".

The new laser will fire 10,000 times in one second, compared to the original ICESat which fired 40 times a second.

ICESat-2 suffered delays because of problems with ATLAS, notably a failure of one of its lasers.

Over the course of its career, Delta II has managed an impressive ~99% success rate, launching dozens of successful scientific missions to explore asteroids, comets, the Moon, the sun, exoplanets, Mars, and more. "The instrument, the ATLAS instrument, took longer than we thought".

In riposte, Trump says JPMorgan’s Dimon lacks ‘smarts’ to be president
Dimon said yesterday that he is smarter and as tough as Trump, as well as being self-made rather than having inherited wealth. Hours later, Dimon walked his comments back: "I should not have said it".

According to ULA, McDonnell Douglas created the rocket in the late 1980s to launch Global Positioning System satellites for the Air Force. The first launch was in 1989.

This launch, which was the 100th consecutive successful Delta 2, brought back a tradition from earlier Delta 2 missions.

The stars returned for this final Delta 2 launch, but with a twist, he said: people ranging from retirees who once worked on the program to customers and range personnel were invited to sign the stars. "Delta 2 holds a really special place in so many folks' hearts".

For its 155th and final mission, the Delta II flew in its 7420-10 configuration, outfitted with four Graphite Epoxy Motor (GEM) side-mounted boosters, which were jettisoned 1 minute and 22 seconds into the flight, and a [3m]-diameter payload fairing, which was similarly disposed of about 4 minutes later as the rocket climbed into space.

The Delta II's second stage AJ10-118K engine reignited for 6 seconds about 47 minutes into the mission before deploying ICESat-2 into orbit.

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