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In Photos: Last Delta II Rocket Soars With NASA's ICESat-2

First Tests

Timothy Trenkle/USAF 30th Space Wing/NASA

At Vandenberg AFB, NASA's Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite-2 undergoes a solar array first motion test.

On the Move

Randy Beaudoin/NASA

The ICESat-2 sits on the transport inside NASA's Building 1555 at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Cleaning Up

Randy Beaudoin/NASA

During preparations for the upcoming mission, technicians and engineers clean and take samples from the payload fairing set to deliver the ICESat-2 into orbit.

Up to Vertical

Pedro Carrillo/USAF 30th Space Wing/NASA

At Space Launch Complex 2, United Launch Alliance workers assist in lifting the Delta II first stage to vertical. The rockets will carry the ICESat-2 satellite into orbit. The ICESat-2 will use the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System and investigate why and how the Earth's cryosphere is changing.

Time for the Motor

Mark Mackley/USAF 30th Space Wing/NASA

ULA technicians help as the solid rocket motor is lifted to the Delta II launch vehicle. The vehicle will take the ICESat-2 into orbit. The satellite will measure the height of Earth with a laser pulse.

Attaching the Stages

Randy Beaudoin/NASA

The United Launch Alliance Delta II's second stage is lifted in preparation for connection to the top of the first stage booster after it's moved on the Mobile Service Tower.

Connecting the Parts

Mark Mackley/USAF 30th Space Wing/NASA

At Vandenberg Air Force Base inside the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex 2, ULA workers assist as the Delta II interstage is attached to the main booster.

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