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NASA Goddard and ICESat-2 management visited Fibertek in Reston, VA to see the ATLAS engineering model laser
The ICESat-2 spacecraft passed the Critical Design Review this week, at Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC) in Gilbert, Arizona.
Congratulations to the ICESat-2 Ground Systems team, which passed its Critical Design Review today at NASA Goddard!
The ICESat-2 eClips educational videos, live on the NASA portal
With three successful science flights under its belt, the MABEL laser altimeter is scheduled for a final pass over the Chesapeake Bay on 9/25
Congratulations to the MABEL team for a successful series of flights this week, as the Proteus aircraft returned to Mojave, CA.
MABEL’s in the air! The lidar instrument has been successfully flying this week from NASA Langley
Operation IceBridge will be able to cover more ground (ice?) in Antarctica this field campaign, thanks to a new base of operations at McMurdo
Congratulations to the ATLAS team -- ICESat-2's instrument has passed its Critical Design Review!
Feature: Don't be fooled by the old-fashioned name – MABEL is testing state-of-the-art laser technology for ICESat-2
Congratulations to the ICESat-2 team for passing the Critical Design Review!
Operation IceBridge mission is flying a grid over Greenland -- some of the same paths ICESat-2 will take
Happy Earth Day from ICESat-2! Here's a #GlobalSelfie from one of our engineers, Tyler Evans
ICESat-2 measures Earth's height - and our new educational exhibit can measure yours!
Congratulations to Anna for her win in the NASA REEL Science Communication Contest!
ICESat-2's science team, meeting at NASA Goddard, viewed the ATLAS box structure & flight telescope
Feature: How NASA Builds a Space Laser
ATLAS - ICESat-2's laser altimeter - takes shape at NASA Goddard
Feature: NASA’s High-Flying Laser Altimeter to Check Out Summer Sea Ice and More
MABEL's new camera readied to snap photos from above
MABEL takes flight from Fairbanks on the ER-2
MABEL gets a view of the top of the world
An ER-2 pilot reports on life at 65,000 feet over the Arctic
Glaciers, forests, sea ice, lakes, volcanoes... the MABEL team mapped routes for key views
Melt ponds shine in NASA laser altimeter images
A new NASA campaign to help understand clouds & Arctic warming, starts Sept. 3
Our logo's penguin has a name - Paige! Thanks to 2nd graders at Montgomery Knolls, Md
Operation IceBridge began its Antarctic campaign, including flights where ICESat-2's orbits will converge.
To ensure the two sections of ATLAS would mesh perfectly, the Goddard team conducted a 'fit check.'
How do you move a satellite's optical bench across a cleanroom? Very slowly. Watch a timelapse.
Tracking Arctic sea ice thickness is one of the biggest challenges for polar scientists -- and one that ICESat-2 will help address.
Xploration Outer Space talks with the ICESat-2 team and tours our ATLAS cleanroom in its latest episode - check it out!
ATLAS engineers prep for a comprehensive performance test of electrical components.
ICESat-2 kicks off the New Year with an animation of the satellite's deployment and six laser beams
ATLAS on the move! Engineers preped to transfer the box structure into a thermal vacuum chamber at Goddard.
Cleanroom team moved ATLAS instrument to the thermal vacuum, to simulate the harsh space environment.
Engineers check out the ATLAS box structure, before closing the door of the Thermal Vacuum Chamber for testing.
Congrats to the Orbital ATK team that built ICESat-2's spacecraft bus, which passed its pre-environmental readiness review.
Return to Room Temperature: The ATLAS box structure has successfully completed a round of thermal vacuum testing.
The applications team and early adopters met this week to prepare for the influx of height measurements from ICESat-2.
Operation IceBridge took off this morning at 5:28 AM from Wallops Flight Facility! They are currently on their way to Thule, Greenland!
2015 Arctic Sea Ice Maximum Annual Extent Is Lowest On Record
Laser-like focus on sea ice: Image of the Day
The future's so bright... ATLAS needs a sunshade
Happy Earth Day from Union Station, where we are spreading the word about Earth's frozen areas
It's been a busy year! Last May our ATLAS team started integration and testing for the instrument. Now, they're preparing to unite the two main sections of the laser.
ICESat-2 presented a NASA plaque to Montgomery Knolls School in Md, for coming up with a name for our penguin: Paige.
A milestone: The Optical Bench was successfully mated to the Box Structure! Check out this time lapse captured inside the clean room by Tyler Evans, Optical Engineer.
ATLAS team gives 'thumbs up' to the successful mating of the optical bench to the box structure, yesterday at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
Take a front-row seat in the clean room, as the engineering team connects the two main sections of ICESat-2's ATLAS instrument.
ICESat-2's newest fans, from the World Science Festival in New York. They investigated the layers in a Greenland ice core that went back hundreds of years. #WSF15
Science experiments, sped up! At the World Science Festival in NYC. #wsf15
Operation IceBridge's Arctic campaign wrapped up May 21. Fly along over the mountains of Eastern Greenland in this video, music courtesy of Moby.
Feature: A Laser Beam’s Path Through NASA's ICESat-2
Think cool thoughts this holiday weekend. Here, these 118 seconds of ICESat-2 should help.
We have our lasers! The integration team installed the primary and backup lasers onto ATLAS, ICESat-2's instrument that will measure heights. #pewpew
3 billion miles away.... Icy mountains! ‪#‎plutoflyby‬
We're all fired up! The ATLAS team turned on Laser 1 yesterday, the first time since it and Laser 2 were installed on the instrument.
NASA will be giving you an in-depth look at what’s going on with sea level rise around the world - a question the ICESat missions are designed to investigate.
Want to learn more about ICESat-2? Check out our new NASA mission website:
Some of the ICESat-2 team -- including Paige the Penguin -- were in Greenland earlier this month!
The ICESat-2 mission was out in the field earlier this month, flying an airborne instrument over Greenland to study how green lasers interact with different types of snow and ice.
For the first time in its seven years of flights, NASA's Operation IceBridge is conducting overlapping campaigns in Antarctica and the Arctic.
How can Greenland's ice sheets still be more than 10,000 feet thick, if carbon dioxide is warming the planet? Kelly Brunt, a scientist working on the ICESat-2 mission, explains.
At Explore@NASAGoddard, visitors got to try on a scientist's polar jacket, check out an ice core and watch our glacier races.
What does record low Arctic sea ice mean for cloud cover & planetary energy balance? Find out with an Earth Science Week series of first-hand stories from NASA
Congratulations to OIB-North, which has completed its last science flight for the season!
ICESat-2’s spacecraft completed a significant risk-reduction testing program last week, to minimize the chance of technical issues uncovered later.
That's a nice looking rocket! The ICESat-2 decal has been added to our launch vehicle, being assembled by United Launch Alliance.
NASA’s Operation IceBridge, an airborne survey of polar ice, recently finalized two overlapping campaigns at both of Earth’s poles.
Close enough doesn’t cut it in the cleanroom at NASA Goddard - so our engineers tested the instrument's pinpoint accuracy.
2015 saw many highlights at NASA Goddard - including the building and testing of ICESat-2's instrument, ATLAS.
NASA's ICESat-2 is equipped with a unique 3D manufactured part
Congratulations to the ATLAS team on their instrument assembly! Engineers fastened on the door - the final component.
Watch as ICESat-2's door is opened in an engineering test.
Thanks to the ICESat-2/SCAD Collaborative Student Project for the excellent design of our new banner, hanging by the Goddard clean room.
Get ready for a test! The ATLAS team moved the instrument into a chamber where it will undergo EMI/EMC testing.
ATLAS passed its Pre- Environmental Readiness Review -- a 2-day review, with 100s of slides presented to the review board.
2016 Arctic Sea Ice Wintertime Extent Hits Another Record Low.
EMI testing for ICESat-2's instrument, ATLAS, is complete! Next up - Acoustics & Vibration tests
The Operation IceBridge team is off to Greenland for its Spring 2016 Arctic Campaign
The ATLAS instrument was blasted with noise as NASA Goddard engineers conducted an acoustic test, designed to simulate the roar of a rocket launch
Gathering data to link ICESat and ICESat-2, Operation IceBridge continues flights over Greenland
ATLAS moves into the Thermal Vacuum Chamber at NASA Goddard to prepare for testing.
IceBridge completes its 2016 Arctic Spring campaign
ATLAS transfered for testing in the thermal vacuum chamber - timelapse
DC Environmental Film Fest visits Goddard
ICESat-2 visits the 'Chill Zone' at National Building Museum's Icebergs exhibit
Operation IceBridge just wrapped a sea ice campaign in Barrow that could help the ICESat-2 mission.
While NASA Operation IceBridge was in Barrow, Alaska, several of the pilots, scientists and flight crew visited a local summer camp.
NASA Monitors 'New Normal' of Sea Ice Melt
Take a look at the 'new normal' of melting sea ice
Science Flights Study Effect of Summer Melt on Greenland
What's in these crates? Our laser altimeter exhibit!
Arctic Sea Ice Annual Minimum Ties Second Lowest on Record
IceBridge is back flying over Antarctica for an 8th season - read all about the campaign's flight lines and instruments
New EO for Kids magazine features ICESat activity
ATLAS ships to Arizona for spacecraft integration & testing
As IceBridge flies its 2016 Antarctic campaign, scientists also collect spectacular photos
AGU Town Hall Meeting on ICESat-2
All together now! ICESat-2 is ready for testing, as engineers at Orbital ATK have attached the ATLAS laser instrument to the spacecraft.
Observatory Pre-Environmental Readiness Review passed at OrbitalATK in Arizona.
"Photon Jump," an animated short film created by students at SCAD, premiers
NASA’s Aerial Survey of Polar Ice Expands Its Arctic Reach
Feature: NASA's ICESat-2 to Provide More Depth to Sea Ice Forecasts
Sea Ice Extent Sinks to Record Lows at Both Poles
Engineering Feature: Timing a space laser with a NASA-style stopwatch
ICESat-2's height-measuring exhibit debuts at Baltimore's Port Discovery Children's Museum, where it will be spring 2017
ICESat-2 at Awesome Con in Washington DC with exhibit and Space Lasers Panel
ICESat-2 Mission at the Baltimore Artscape Festival 2017
Reading Public Museum Discovery Camp presentation on ICESat-2
ICESat-2 Preps for Flight Laser Tests
Go inside the ATLAS clean room at NASA Goddard in a Facebook Live
ICESat-2 passes Phase D review!
What’s spooky to an engineer? In our Chamber of Horrors, we put the satellite to the test
It's a Space Laser themed NASA Social at Goddard, featuring ICESat-2
Get to know ICESat-2 by the numbers!
Operation IceBridge flies over the Larsen C ice shelf
ICESat-2 heads south, to New Zealand and beyond to Antarctica, to collect ice sheet elevation measurements.
ICESat-2 campaign reaches Antarctica's McMurdo Station
Scientists will soon survey an unexplored stretch of Antarctic ice. The 470-mile expedition will provide the best assessment of the accuracy of ICESat-2's data.
ICESat-2 Antarctic campaign reaches the South Pole where they prepare for the traverse
It's Christmas at the South Pole, where ICESat-2 scientists assemble their gear
After building the sleds, tuning up the PistenBullys, and going for a couple of test drives, the ICESat-2 team sets out.
The 88S Antarctic campaign completes a successful traverse around the South Pole
Meet the team that traversed hundreds of miles across Antarctic to collect data for the ICESat-2 mission
Our Antarctic expedition team returns to McMurdo, where a small, self-sufficient town is designed specifically for science
The ICESat-2 Friends & Family Day brought 300 people to Goddard to see the ATLAS instrument, visit the testing facility, and to learn about the satellite and its science.
Before orbiting Earth faster than 15,000 mph, ATLAS began its journey toward space riding a truck from Maryland to Arizona, never exceeding 65 mph.
For St. Patrick's Day, take a look at some of the greens of our ATLAS laser
The ICESat-2 outreach team, with altimeter exhibit in tow, visited the Maker Faire in Northern Virginia
The second stage of ULA's Delta II rocket, which will launch ICESat-2, arrives at Vandenberg
Take a look back at our 88S Antarctic Traverse field campaign, part of the effort to ensure ICESat-2 data accuracy
Thousands of visitors learned about NASA science -- including ICESat-2 -- at the USA Science and Engineering Festival
We had some African Penguins from Sea World visiting the ICESat-2 Altimeter Exhibit today at the USA Science and Engineering Festival
NASA’s ICESat-2 mission wants to meet your favorite tree. Create a short video and it could be included in a NASA video on an upcoming citizen science project.
Our altimeter exhibit is now at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA. Come check it out!
Our Delta II booster arrives at Vandenberg Air Force Base for checkouts and pre-flight processing
The ICESat-2 satellite arrives at Vandenberg AFB, three months ahead of its scheduled launch
Applications now open for a NASA Social during ICESat-2's launch on the final Delta II rocket
Engineers at Vandenberg AFB in California successfully finished the final ground-based test of the ATLAS lasers.
We're a month away from launch! As we count down to the liftoff of ICESat-2, our team is busy preparing the satellite
NASA is about to launch a space laser that will circle the Earth to measure ice. Find out more in our live show
As we count down the days to launch, we’re counting up 10 things you should know about ICESat-2
ICESat-2 Liftoff! A successful launch aboard the final Delta II, at 9:02am ET, Sept. 15
Week 1 update: ICESat2 is looking great! Solar array deployed, all subsystems turned on, and we’re busy checking everything out. Navigation works perfectly, guiding us along our planned orbit.
ICESat-2 laser fires for the first time, measures Antarctic ice sheet
Operation IceBridge, ICESat-2 Join Forces To Survey Antarctica
IceBridge has completed the first near-time underflight of ICESat-2, only missing the satellite's path over Antarctica by a few hours.
An IceBridge scientist took a 20-sec-exposure pic and caught the orbiting ICESat-2 over Drake Passage
Operation IceBridge 2018 Antarctic Field Campaign concludes after successful mission measuring changes in Antarctic sea and land ice, flying under ICESat-2 orbits to compare measurements
We passed our Post-Launch Acceptance and Operational Transition Reviews and are now officially in 'Phase E' as an operational mission.
3 months into the mission, and getting back amazing data of the height of ice, forests, and oceans. Here’s a first look, presented at AGU today.
ICESat-2 scientists set out on an Antarctic traverse along the 88 S latitude line, to check the satellite's measurements
ICESat-2 Scientists complete 88 South Traverse of Antarctica to collect reference elevation data
ICESat-2 6 Month Anniversary On-Orbit!
Citizen Science App Released to Measure Tree Height!
First ICESat-2 Global Data Released: Ice, Forests and More
ICESat-2 joined NASA for the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary on the National Mall
A Puzzle? ICESat-2 fans might recognize Earth Observatory query
ICESat-2 Celebrates First Birthday in Orbit
Laser Precision: NASA Flights, Satellite Align Over Sea Ice
ICESat-2 mission presence at Student STEAM event at Pecora 21 in Baltimore
Trees Around the GLOBE Student Research Campaign hits milestone of 10,000th tree height measurement
ICESat-2’s Deputy Project Scientist, Dr. Nathan Kurtz, returns from MOSAiC Expedition in the Arctic
ICESat-2 Science Team meets in Seattle
ICESat-2 Polar Applications Discovery Forum at the 3rd Polar Data Forum, Helsinki, Finland
ICESat-2 laser model exhibit arrives at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility’s Visitors Center in Wallops Island, Virginia
Operation IceBridge completes 11 years of data collection connecting ICESat and ICESat-2 Missions
2019 #PhotonPhriday posts finished for the year!
88 South Expedition to South Pole Underway
Ocean Surface Height data set Version 2 (ATL12) released and available at the NASA National Snow and Ice Data Center Distributed Active Archive Center (NSIDC DAAC).
ICESat-2 Celebrates Earth Day 50th with Live program 'Science in Ice-olation'
ICESat-2 Researchers publish results of 16 year ice loss in Greenland and Antarctica
Hands-on Activity in the Funzone to learn about how much land ice is melting
Sea Ice Towers Hands-on Activity to view changes to sea ice over 40 year period
ICESat-2 and the European Space Agency's Cryosat-2 sync orbits to study sea ice
ICESat-2 turns 2! On September 15, 2018, ICESat-2 was launched into orbit. Celebrating two years of elevation data collection over ice, trees, land, and water.
ICESat-2 Orbit tracks Android app is released. Find out when ICESat-2 will pass over you.
The Trees Around the GLOBE Campaign begins it's 3rd year, and has collected over 21,000 tree height measurements from students and citizen scientists. Join us in taking your own tree height measurements.
ICESat-2 at the American Geophysical Union (AGU)
NASA Feature - Beyond Ice: NASA’s ICESat-2 Shows Hidden Talents
Sea Ice vs Land Ice Time Lapse Video and Activity
Breaking Down the Big Questions at NASA video with ICESat-2
NASA Feature - Scientists Complete 1st Global Survey of Freshwater Fluctuation
Trees Around the GLOBE Community Challenge kicks off - Help ICESat-2 Scientists gather tree height data
Gridded Arctic Winter Sea Ice Thickness Dataset Released available now at NSIDC
ICESat-2 Measures Newly-formed Iceberg A-76
New Lakes Discovered Under Antarctic Ice with ICESat-2
ICESat-2 Celebrates 3rd Birthday in orbit!
ICESat-2 fires its laser for the Trillionth time in orbit
ATLAS/ICESat-2 (ATL19) Monthly Gridded Dynamic Ocean Topography, Version 1 data set released and available at the NSIDC Data Center
After three years and over a trillion laser shots, ICESat-2 has achieved its prime mission goals and continues collecting data for new science discoveries.
Where is ICESat-2? App for iPhone and iPad Released! Click here for links to iOS and Android Apps.
'Quick look' datasets of sea ice, water, clouds & vegetation now available NSIDC
Earth Day with ICESat-2 at Union Station, Washington, D.C.
ICESat-2 L4 Along-Track Sea Ice Thickness Version 1 data set available at the NSIDC
NASA Approves Continuation of ICESat-2 After 3+ Years
ICESat-2 4th Year in Orbit!
ICESat-2 Sees Phytoplankton under sea ice in Antarctica
New Version 6 ATLAS/ICESat-2 Sea Ice Height and Sea Ice Freeboard datasets released. Available through NSIDC.
ICESat-2 Celebrates 5th Anniversary in Orbit!

Click and drag a Year (e.g. 2015) to see more entries.

Use the dots to navigate through the timeline.

ICESat-2 is currently on-orbit. Find the ground tracks here.


Icesat-2 Launch. Learn more.

ICYMI: We counted down to ICESat-2's 2018 launch!

Space Lasers

ICESat-2's laser is split into six beams, to better measure Earth's surface.  Find out more here.

Meet Your Guides

Hang out with Paige and Pho in the FunZone! Learn all about the ICESat-2 mission through videos and activities.
Meet the guides...
2018-09-15 06:02:00

Feature Articles

Did You Know?

The ICESat-2 laser pulses 10,000 times a second; each pulse releases about 20 trillion photons. Only about a dozen photons hit Earth’s surface and return to the satellite.

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