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Rockot launches ESA satellites
Posted: Mon, Nov 2, 2009, 2:03 PM ET (1903 GMT)
Rockot launch of SMOS (ESA) A Russian Rockot vehicle placed two European satellites into orbit early Monday. The Rockot booster lifted off from the Plesetsk Cosmodome in northern Russia at 8:50 pm EST Sunday (0150 GMT Monday) and placed into low Earth orbit the SMOS and Proba-2 satellites for the European Space Agency. SMOS (Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity) is a 650-kilogram ESA satellite designed to measure moisture levels in soil and salinity levels in oceans to better understand global climate. The 135-kilogram Proba-2 spacecraft is a technology demonstration mission, testing technologies ranging from star trackers to thrusters.
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