NASA selects launch services for ICESat-2 mission
NASA's Launch Services Program at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida has selected United Launch Services, LLC of Englewood, Colo., to provide Delta II launch services for the Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat)-2 mission, currently scheduled for July 2016.
A firm fixed-price launch service task order has been awarded under the indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity NASA Launch Services (NLS) II contract. NASA's total cost to launch ICESat-2 is $96.6 million, including payload processing, integrated services, telemetry, reimbursables and other launch support requirements.
The Delta II rocket will place the ICESat-2 spacecraft into a near-circular Earth polar orbit following liftoff from Space Launch Complex-2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. ICESat-2 is a continuation of the global time series of precision ice topography measurements initiated by the first ICESat mission. ICESat-2 will measure changes in the elevation of the polar ice sheets to understand their contribution to current and future sea-level rise. It also will characterize polar-sea ice thicknesses and global vegetation heights to understand their connections to the Earth system.
Subcontractors performing work for United Launch Services include Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne of Canoga Park, Calif., Alliant Techsystems, Inc of Magna, Utah and Aerojet of Sacramento, Calif. United Launch Services' United Launch Alliance provides the Delta II and launch services.