Had you heard about it? It's a NASA mission, the largest airborne survey ever carried out to measure Earth's polar ice. Scientists plan to build a three-dimensional model of Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets, ice shelves, and sea ice in an effort to bridge the gap in polar observations by one NASA satellite, ICESat, that stopped collecting data in 2009, and another, ICESat-2, that will launch in 2015.
This image, taken last November from the IceBridge DC-8, shows a desolate, unnamed trans-Antarctic mountain glacier. Aliens would wonder, could there be life on this planet?