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CryoSat in orbit. Illustration: ESA

CryoSat is ESA’s satellite dedicated to measuring the thickness of polar sea ice and monitoring changes in the ice sheets that blanket Greenland and Antarctica. It was launched into space in 2010, and originally it was designed to last roughly 5 years.

It has now spent over 13 years in orbit – and now, thanks to a risky swap to a backup propulsion system, the satellite has possibly 10 more years of measurements ahead.

Read a detailed story of saving a satellite and more about this icy mission in this article on the ESA website.