CryoSat-2 launches

The European Space Agency has launched the UCL-led ice watching satellite CryoSat-2 from the Baikonur cosmodrone in Kazakhstan to a 700km polar orbit atop a Dnepr Inter Continental Ballistic Missile. Unlike the disastrous launch of the original Cryostat probe on an SS-19 ICBM (yes, this is how old weapons missiles are disposed of, the UK has only just run out of WWII rockets, which were fired off to study the atmosphere). Pictures from the launch are here and footage has been posted to ESA’s youtube channel and is shown below, along with the satellite’s mission video, explaining why it will be measuring the thickness of ice on the Earth’s surface for the next decade:

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