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: Innovative use of pressurant extends MESSENGER's mission, enables collection of new data

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA lining up ICESat-2's laser-catching telescope

Nov 03, 2014

To catch individual laser photons that have travelled more than 600 miles from a satellite to Earth and back, the satellite's telescope needs to be perfectly positioned. Last week, engineers and technicians ...

GOCE reveals gravity dip from ice loss (w/ Video)

Sep 26, 2014

Although not designed to map changes in Earth's gravity over time, ESA's extraordinary satellite has shown that the ice lost from West Antarctica over the last few years has left its signature.

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 ...

NASA air campaigns focus on Arctic climate impacts

Sep 17, 2014

Over the past few decades, average global temperatures have been on the rise, and this warming is happening two to three times faster in the Arctic. As the region's summer comes to a close, NASA is hard at ...

Recommended for you

The top 101 astronomical events to watch for in 2015

Dec 24, 2014

Now in its seventh year of compilation and the second year running on Universe Today, we're proud to feature our list of astronomical happenings for the coming year. Print it, bookmark it, hang it on your ...

NASA image: Frosty slopes on Mars

Dec 24, 2014

This image of an area on the surface of Mars, approximately 1.5 by 3 kilometers in size, shows frosted gullies on a south-facing slope within a crater.

Can astronomy explain the biblical Star of Bethlehem?

Dec 24, 2014

Bright stars top Christmas trees in Christian homes around much of the world. The faithful sing about the Star of Wonder that guided the wise men to a manger in the little town of Bethlehem, where Jesus was ...

User comments : 0

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.