Artist's concept of the ICESat satellite in orbit around Earth. Credit: NASA
The ICESat satellite has been a critical to meeting the goals of NASA's Cryosphere program by providing ice elevation information at continental scales with high spatial resolution. As of October 11, 2009, ICESat stopped collecting science data -- increasing the urgency of continued observations during IceBridge missions.
ICESat-2 is planned to launch no sooner than 2016.