Russia launches rocket with European satellite atop
Russia launches rocket with European satellite atop
Author:Xinhua    NewsSource:Xinhua    Hits:    Update Time:2009-3-20

Russia launched a carrier rocket with a European satellite on board Tuesday afternoon, a spokesman for the Russian Space Forces said.


The rocket blasted off from the Plesetsk space center in northwest Russia at 17:21 Moscow time (1421 GMT), Lieut. Col. Alexei Zolotukhin was quoted by Interfax as saying.


The Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) satellite was lift off on top of the Rokot, a converted version of the Soviet RS-18 missile.


The GOCE satellite, developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) to measure earth's gravitational field with high accuracy, is the first in a series of new research projects within the framework of the ESA Living Planet Program, the Itar-Tass news agency reported.


It is ESA's most sophisticated Earth observation satellites to date.


The 1,200 kg satellite will help scientists to understand how the earth's gravity field influences ocean circulation, sea-level change and climate change.


It will also allow specialists to study earth's underground processes in areas of high volcanic and seismic activity.


Initially scheduled for Monday, the launch of the satellite had been postponed because the doors of the launch service tower did not open, ESA said.


(Source: Xinhua)
NewsInputer:caokun    Editor:caokun