CryoSat launch delayed

February 19, 2010
CryoSat will provide data to determine the precise rate of change in the thickness of the polar ice sheets and floating sea ice. It is capable of detecting changes as little as 1 cm per year. The information from the CryoSat will lead to a better understanding of how the volume of ice on Earth is changing and, in turn, a better appreciation of how ice and climate are linked. Credits: ESA - P. Carril

( -- The launch of ESA's CryoSat-2 satellite from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, scheduled for 25 February, has been delayed due to a concern related to the second stage steering engine of the Dnepr launcher.

Although the fuel supply of the second stage engine should be sufficient to get CryoSat into orbit, the fuel reserve is not as large as they would like it to be, according to the Ukrainian company Yuzhnoye, who developed and is responsible for the launcher. The situation is being reviewed, and measures will be taken to resolve this concern.
Kosmotras, the launch provider, will inform ESA of a new launch date shortly.

CryoSat-2 will fly in a highly inclined , reaching latitudes of 88° north and south, to maximise its coverage of the poles. From an altitude of just over 700 km, will precisely monitor changes in the thickness of sea ice and variations in the thickness of the ice sheets on land.

These data are urgently needed by scientists to understand exactly how Earth’s ice is changing in response to climate change. For over 15 years, the ERS satellites and have been mapping the extent of ice cover.

However, in order to understand how is affecting the sensitive polar regions, there is an urgent need to determine exactly how the thickness of the ice is changing to get the full picture.

Explore further: British climate satellite to be launched

More information: CryoSat to observe Earth's ice cover (w/ Video):

Related Stories

British climate satellite to be launched

October 5, 2005

A British satellite designed to give an extremely accurate picture of climate changes at the Earth's poles is set for launch Saturday from Plesetsk, Russia.

ESA's director comments on the loss of CryoSat

October 10, 2005

A European satellite that was to have helped understand global warming by scanning the thickness of polar ice sheets crashed into the Artic Ocean after its Russian launcher failed. The 170-million-dollar CryoSat satellite ...

Ground segment declared ready for CryoSat-2 launch

August 7, 2009

( -- An Earth observation mission does not just involve the building of a satellite, it also includes the all-important infrastructure to control the satellite and handle the data - the ground segment. As ESA ...

February launch for ESA's CryoSat ice mission

September 14, 2009

( -- As members of the media visit IABG’s spacecraft test centre in Germany to learn more about ESA’s CryoSat mission and view the satellite, a new target launch date of 28 February 2010 has been announced.

ESA's ice mission arrives safely at launch site

January 14, 2010

( -- In what might seem rather appropriate weather conditions, the CryoSat-2 Earth Explorer satellite has completed its journey to the Baikonur launch site in Kazakhstan, where it will be prepared for launch on ...

CryoSat to observe Earth's ice cover (w/ Video)

February 15, 2010

( -- The European Space Agency is about to launch the most sophisticated satellite ever to investigate the Earth's ice fields and map ice thickness over water and land: lift-off scheduled for 25 February.

Recommended for you

The hottest white dwarf in the Galaxy

November 25, 2015

Astronomers at the Universities of Tübingen and Potsdam have identified the hottest white dwarf ever discovered in our Galaxy. With a temperature of 250,000 degrees Celsius, this dying star at the outskirts of the Milky ...

Aging star's weight loss secret revealed

November 25, 2015

A team of astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope has captured the most detailed images ever of the hypergiant star VY Canis Majoris. These observations show how the unexpectedly large size of the particles of dust surrounding ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.