Engineers are carrying out final checks on the ice monitoring craft CryoSat, in preparation for an autumn launch. The European Space Agency (Esa) satellite has gone through months of testing in Germany and will be transported to Russia's Plesetsk Cosmodrome next month. The three-year mission will monitor how the world's ice sheets are changing. Its main objective is to test the prediction that ice cover is diminishing due to global warming. Data gathered by submarines suggests that Arctic sea ice is thinning rapidly.