The ESA's CyroSat-2 Ready to Be Launched

PARIS, April 7 (UPI) — The Russian State Commission has approved the launch of the European Space Agency’s CyroSat-2 satellite.

The ESA said approval for Thursday’s 9:57 a.m. EDT launch came after a nine-hour full launch simulation Tuesday.

ESA scientists said the satellite will measure tiny variations in the thickness of ice floating in the polar oceans and changes in the vast ice sheets on land, providing evidence of the speed at which Earth’s ice is diminishing. That information, the researchers said, will lead to a better understanding of the role ice plays in the Earth system and climate change.

“After the loss of the original CryoSat in 2005, we are extremely happy to have reached this point after four years rebuilding the satellite, including a number of improvements on the original,” said Richard Francis, the ESA’s project manager. “We are now very much looking forward to a successful launch and then delivering the data the scientific community so badly needs to build a true picture of what is happening in the fragile polar regions.”

Officials said CryoSat-2 will be launched on a Dnepr rocket from an underground silo at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

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