The American space agency is about to put a laser in orbit to measure the condition of Earth's ice cover, BBC reports.
The satellite mission, called ICESat-2, should provide more precise information on how these frozen surfaces are being affected by global warming.
Antarctica, Greenland and the ice floating on the Arctic Ocean have all lost volume in recent decades.
ICESat-2 will track ongoing change in unprecedented detail from its vantage point some 500km above the planet.
A Delta II rocket is booked to take the satellite laser into space on Saturday.
Lift-off from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California is scheduled for 05:46 local time (12:46 GMT; 13:46 BST).