DENVER BUSINESS JOURNAL — United Launch Alliance will use the last of its Delta II rockets to put NASA's ICESat-2, an earth-observation satellite, into orbit in a mission scheduled to lift off before dawn Saturday.

The 6:46 a.m. MT launch, lifting off from Vandenberg Air Force Base on California's coast, is the final mission of the medium-lift rocket that used to be the Centennial-based rocket manufacturer's work horse.

The Delta II will lift the Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite-2 mission, a satellite designed to measure polar ice sheets, sea ice thickness and global vegetation. NASA contracted the ULA rocket launch for $96.6 million in 2013.

As of Thursday night, forecasts showed no chance of weather interfering the West Coast launch, ULA said.

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