NASA's Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite (Icesat) and the Cosmic Hot Interstellar Spectrometer (Chips) spacecraft were successfully launched into low-Earth orbit by a Boeing Delta II booster from Vandenberg AFB, California, on 13 January. The Ball Aerospace-built Icesat is the latest Earth Observing System (EOS) spacecraft to be launched, following the Terra polar platform in December 1999, and its prime role is to quantify ice sheet growth or retreat, to assist in monitoring global climate change and changes in the sea level.

Source: Flight International