Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

ESA’s ice mission arrives safely at launch site

14.01.2010
In what might seem rather appropriate weather conditions, the CryoSat-2 Earth Explorer satellite has completed its journey to the Baikonur launch site in Kazakhstan, where it will be prepared for launch on 25 February.

The satellite and support equipment left the ‘IABG’ test centre in Ottobrunn, Germany, by lorry on 12 January. The CryoSat mission is dedicated to precise monitoring of the changes in the thickness of marine ice floating in the polar oceans and variations in the thickness of the vast ice sheets that overlay Greenland and Antarctica. With much of Europe still in the grip of one of the coldest winters for some years, the icy conditions aptly set the stage for this first leg of CryoSat-2’s journey.

After arriving at Munich airport, the containers were loaded onto an Antonov aircraft. Along with team members from ESA and their industrial partner for CryoSat-2, EADS-Astrium, the Antonov took off in the early evening bound for Ulyanovsk, a city some 900 km east of Moscow, Russia. Once through customs clearance at Ulyanovsk, the aircraft continued the journey to the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

The weather was –12°C and fine on arrival. Safely cocooned in its thermally controlled container, CryoSat-2 and accompanying cargo were offloaded and moved to the integration facility. The launch campaign team will now spend the next six weeks preparing the satellite for launch. CryoSat-2 will be launched by a Dnepr rocket – a converted intercontinental ballistic missile – on 25 February at 14:57 CET (13:57 UT).

With the effects of a changing climate fast becoming apparent, particularly in the polar regions, it is increasingly important to understand exactly how Earth’s ice fields are responding. Diminishing ice cover is frequently cited as an early casualty of global warming and because ice, in turn, plays an important role regulating climate and sea level, the consequences of change are far-reaching.
In order to understand fully how climate change is affecting these remote but sensitive regions, there remains an urgent need to determine exactly how the thickness of the ice, both on land and floating in the sea, is changing. By addressing this challenge, the data delivered by the CryoSat mission will complete the picture and lead to a better understanding of the role ice plays in the Earth system.

Following on from GOCE and SMOS, CryoSat-2 will be the third of ESA’s Earth Explorers launched within 12 months, marking a significant step in ESA’s dedication to improving our understanding of the Earth system.

Robert Meisner | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.esa.int

Further reports about: CryoSat CryoSat-2 ESA Earth system Earth's magnetic field ice sheet polar region

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system
21.07.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht Scientists shed light on carbon's descent into the deep Earth
19.07.2017 | European Synchrotron Radiation Facility

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ultrathin device harvests electricity from human motion

24.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Scientists announce the quest for high-index materials

24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

ADIR Project: Lasers Recover Valuable Materials

24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>