CryoSat set for launch

Oct 08, 2005

It's all systems go for the CryoSat spacecraft launch from Russia, European Space Agency officials said Friday.

The satellite, scheduled to take off Saturday from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia, carries a sophisticated radar altimeter that will measure the height and angle of ice surfaces with unprecedented precision, reported the BBC Friday.

CryoSat is the first of the European Space Agency's Earth Explorer missions -- relatively low-cost projects to answer important environmental questions.

The satellite's unique radar altimeter will see ice masses at vastly improved resolutions, to help determine if the apparent ice cover changes are due to ice melting or to changes in the winds that shift the ice around.

"The only way to do this is to examine the entire Arctic at the same time," said Duncan Wingham, of University College London.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: SpaceX launches supplies to space station (Update)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Greenland's current loss of ice mass

May 29, 2012

The Greenland ice sheet continues to lose mass and thus contributes at about 0.7 millimeters per year to the currently observed sea level change of about 3 mm per year. This trend increases each year by a further 0.07 millimeters ...

IceBridge wraps up successful Antarctic campaign

Dec 11, 2013

Operation IceBridge's 2013 Antarctic campaign came to a close after NASA's P-3 research aircraft returned to its home base, NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Va., on Dec. 3. During the mission's ...

NASA technologists embrace laser instrument challenge

Nov 18, 2013

In 2007, the National Research Council threw down a challenge: Design a space-based laser altimeter that could measure the height of Earth's surface everywhere to within a mere 10 centimeters—all at 5-meter ...

Recommended for you

Quest for extraterrestrial life not over, experts say

14 hours ago

The discovery of an Earth-sized planet in the "habitable" zone of a distant star, though exciting, is still a long way from pointing to the existence of extraterrestrial life, experts said Friday. ...

Sun emits a mid-level solar flare

14 hours ago

The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 9:03 a.m. EDT on April 18, 2014, and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured images of the event. Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful ...

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

16 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists ...

The importance of plumes

17 hours ago

The Hubble Space Telescope is famous for finding black holes. It can pick out thousands of galaxies in a patch of sky the size of a thumbprint. The most powerful space telescope ever built, the Hubble provided ...

Continents may be a key feature of Super-Earths

18 hours ago

Huge Earth-like planets that have both continents and oceans may be better at harboring extraterrestrial life than those that are water-only worlds. A new study gives hope for the possibility that many super-Earth ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

(Phys.org) —Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists ...

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.