GREENBELT, Md., Jan. 15 -- NASA’s ice, cloud and land elevation satellite (ICESat) and cosmic hot interstellar spectrometer (CHIPS) satellite lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., Sunday and will enter a final orbital position, about 373 miles above Earth, within two weeks.
The primary role of ICESat is to quantify ice sheet growth or retreat and to thereby answer questions concerning many related aspects of the Earth’s climate system, including global climate change and changes in sea level.
CHIPS will study the gas and dust in space, which are believed to be the basic building blocks of stars and planets. The CHIPS satellite, the first NASA university-class explorer (UNEX) mission, weighs 131 pounds and is the size of a large suitcase. It is expected to operate for one year.
CHIPS is sponsored by the Office of Space Science, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C. The project is managed at the Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Va., and Goddard through the NASA Explorers Program. The CHIPS instrument was built at the Space Science Laboratory of the University of California, Berkeley, and SpaceDev, Inc. of Poway, Calif., built the spacecraft bus. For detailed information about CHIPS and its mission, go to:
The CHIPS instrument was built at the Space Science Laboratory of the University of California, Berkeley, and the spacecraft bus was built by SpaceDev, Inc. of Poway, Calif. The project is sponsored by the Office of Space Science at NASA Headquarters, Washington and managed at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Va., through the NASA Explorers Program.
For more information, visit: www.gsfc.nasa.gov