Watch the last flight of the Delta II rocket as it puts a laser-pulsing satellite into orbit

Tomorrow morning, a nearly 30-year-old rocket will take its final ride to space. The Delta II, a vehicle manufactured by the United Launch Alliance that first launched in 1989, will fly one last time, sending up an Earth-observing satellite into orbit for NASA. If tomorrow’s mission goes well, it will serve as the 100th successful flight of the Delta II in a row, while bringing an end to a rocket that has launched rovers to Mars and spacecraft to the asteroid belt.

On board this last flight is NASA’s ICESat-2, a satellite that’s tasked with measuring how the land and sea ice around Earth’s poles change over time. It’s a follow-up mission to the original ICESat spacecraft, which observed Earth’s ice transformation from 2003 to 2009. Both…

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