European space ice mission announced

On April 8, 2010, Cryosat-2 spacecraft of Europe is set to launch on its mission to map the world’s ice fields.
The satellite was due to fly in late February but was held on the ground while engineers investigated concerns about the its operation.

The Dnepr will lift off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Cryosat will ride into orbit atop a Dnepr vehicle, a converted Russian-Ukrainian nuclear missile.

The satellite is designed to make exact and detailed measurements of the shape and thickness of Antarctic and Arctic ice.

Its data will help scientists to assess better how changing polar ice conditions affect ocean circulation patterns, sea level and global climate.

The European Space Agency (ESE) was informed by the Russian authorities overseeing the flight that they are ready for the flight this April.

Soon enough there will be Google Maps on Ice. Let’s just wait and see until that day comes.