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Ice, Ice Baby! Experience the Launch of NASA’s ICESat-2, and the Final Delta II Rocket

Want to experience ice, space lasers, penguins and a workhorse rocket’s last liftoff? If so, apply for behind-the-scenes access during a NASA Social at Vandenberg Air Force Base near Lompoc, California. Details:

Ice, space lasers, penguins and a workhorse rocket’s last liftoff – it’s the stuff great tweets are made of.


NASA is inviting social media users to apply for credentials to attend the launch of the agency’s Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite-2, or ICESat-2, aboard United Launch Alliance’s Delta II rocket. Launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base near Lompoc, California is targeted for no earlier than Sept. 12.


​ICESat-2 will measure the height of our home planet, with a focus on tracking changes to the ice sheets, glaciers and sea ice of Earth’s polar regions. The satellite’s novel laser instrument measures height by timing individual photons of light to the billionth of a second, which will allow scientists to precisely measure change, including the impacts of a warming climate.


The satellite launches on ULA’s last Delta II rocket, which has previously carried NASA satellites and spacecraft including the Spirit and Opportunity Mars rovers, Landsat 7 and, in 2003, the original ICESat.


Attendees at NASA’s ICESat-2 Launch Social, Sept. 10-12 at Vandenberg will have the chance to post, blog, tweet, Instagram, snap and more to engage their followers via social media. A maximum of 50 social media users will be selected to attend, and will be given access similar to news media. 


NASA Social participants will have the opportunity to:

  • Participate in a special televised pre-launch briefing
  • Witness the last launch of the Delta II rocket
  • Speak with ICESat-2 mission scientists and engineers
  • View and take photographs of the Delta II rocket on the launch pad
  • Tour facilities at Vandenberg Air Force Base
  • Interact with NASA social media managers and fellow space & Earth science enthusiasts


To catch up on the ICESat-2 mission, visit


Social media accreditation for the NASA Social event will open on Friday, July 6. The deadline to apply is 11:59 p.m. EDT on Sunday, July 22. All social media accreditation applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

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