NASA's most advanced space laser satellite blasted off on a mission to track ice loss around the world and improve forecasts of sea level rise as the climate warms.
NASA is poised to launch Saturday its most advanced space laser ever, ICESat-2, a $1 billion dollar mission to reveal the depths of the Earth's melting ice as the climate warms. The half-ton satellite, about the size of a smart-car, is scheduled to blast off atop a Delta II rocket on September 15 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The 40-minute launch window opens at 5:46 am local time (1246 GMT). The mission is "exceptionally important for science," Richard Slonaker, ICESat-2 program executive at NASA,…