Saturday, December 17, 2011

Soyuz launches sharp-eyed Pleiades satellite

A Russian Soyuz rocket has launched from French Guiana - only the second such vehicle to fly out of the territory's new Sinnamary spaceport.
The Soyuz put six satellites in orbit, including France's new Pleiades-1 high-resolution imaging spacecraft.
This satellite is designed to take pictures that resolve features on the ground as small as 50cm across. The capability will put it on a par with the leading US commercial systems operated by GeoEye and DigitalGlobe.

Lift-off occurred on schedule at 23:03 local time, Friday (02:03 GMT, Saturday), with Pleiades-1 being dropped off in its 700km-high polar orbit some 55 minutes later.
Read full story for details.


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