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ICESat-2 Artist Concept

artist concept of ICESat-2
Artist concept of ICESat-2.

This artist concept depicts ICESat-2. ICESat-2 (short for Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite) is slated to launch in 2017, will use lasers and a very precise detection instrument to measure the elevation of Earth’s surface. By timing how long it takes laser beams to travel from the satellite to Earth and back, scientists can calculate the height of glaciers, sea ice, forests, lakes and more – including the changing ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica.

Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center