Russia launches weather satellite
Live Punjab News Service
-- Russian technicians successfully launched Europe's MetOp-A weather satellite after a spate of glitches and bad weather since July.
A newly designed Soyuz-2 booster rocket blasted off from the Baikonur Space Centre in the Central Asian republic of Kazakhstan Thursday.
The satellite was due to be brought into orbit 800 km above the Earth over the next three days.
The original July 17 date for the launch of Europe's first weather satellite was postponed owing to technical faults on the rocket. Two more launches were aborted that month, and another in early October.
A pre-launch sequence malfunction and poor weather at Baikonur had thwarted further attempts Tuesday and Wednesday.
MetOp is designed to circle the earth around the two poles every 100 minutes at an altitude of 800-km.
Three satellites in the series will eventually give information about the continent's weather and provide environmental data.
Implemented jointly by Eumetsat and the European Space Agency (ESA), the project is planned to run for 14 years at a cost of euro 2.4 billion ($3 billion).