Gilbert, Arizona

Narration: Tom Neumann


Neumann: Today we’re celebrating one year of ICESat-2. ICESat-2 launched September 15th last year, and over the last several weeks, we’ve seen all kinds of cool stuff on Photon Phriday. Such as melt ponds in Greenland. That’s something we didn’t know we were going to be able to do so well, and it opens up an entirely new part of science. We had a great pass over Crater Lake where we could see the walls of the former volcano, as well as the lake down in the middle, and that was awesome. We had a great pass over the holidays at Nantucket, off the coast of Massachusetts where we could see Cape Cod Bay and out to Nantucket Island. Jakobshavn Glacier in Greenland, one of the fastest flowing glaciers in Greenland and a focus of study for NASA and others for the last several decades.

[music starts] So now that we’ve got all of those super hard, challenging measurements out of the way, we’re on the next most difficult measurement—warehouses. Today’s Photon Phriday is a very special warehouse. This happens to be the facility in Gilbert, Arizona, where Northrop Grumman has the cleanroom where the ATLAS instrument was mated to the spacecraft and became the ICESat-2 observatory. So in a lot of ways it’s like ICESat-2 found its home in the suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona. Thanks to all of you for following us along on Photon Phriday so far and happy birthday to ICESat-2.