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NASA space lasers to reveal new depths of planet’s ice loss

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,…