The $1bn, decade-in-the-making creation can measure height and thickness of ice sheets to within a centimeter
The world will soon have a much clearer picture of how quickly humans are melting Earth’s ice and expanding the seas, with data collected by a sophisticated satellite launched by Nasa.
Every 91 days, the $1bn, decade-in-the-making creation will orbit over more than 1,000 paths. The satellite, about the size of a Smart car, will point six lasers at ice sheets in the Arctic and Antarctica. It will then calculate how long the beams take to bounce back. Nasa will be able to more accurately measure the heights of ice sheets and the thickness of remaining sea ice.