According to the ICESat-2 Executive Programs, NASA, Richard Slonaker, this mission is very important for science. The reason is that the last time NASA launched a satellite monitor the thickness of the ice is almost a decade ago.
The satellite named ICESat was launched in 2003. The satellite's mission ended in 2009. Since that time, researchers knew that the sea ice has thinned and the ice began to thaw from the edge of Greenland and Antarctica.
In the past nine years without the presence of ice thickness monitoring satellite, NASA conducts Operation IceBridge. In this mission, they flew the plane to the pole the Arctic and Antarctica to measure and document the changes that occur on the ice at both poles. We need to know how the State of the icy sea. Human dependency will fuel oil means the number of greenhouse gases continue to increase, which causes Earth's surface temperature to rise. This caused the polar ice caps melt.
Each year, the Earth's surface temperature continues to rise. During 2014 to 2017, the surface temperature of the Earth reached its highest point during the modern era. Not only that, the melting of ice in the Arctic and Greenland to make sea levels rise, endangering the lives of millions of people living on the coast. ICESat-2 will help researchers to understand how much ice is melting.
"We will get to know the specifics of how melting ice in the span of one year, " said Tom Wagner, Cryosphere Program Scientist at NASA.