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Cryosat-2 laumch

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Cryosat-2 laumch
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Europe's satellite mission to measure the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, the Earth observation satellite CryoSat-2, was launched at 15:57 CET on a Russian Dnepr launcher from Baikonur in Kazakhstan. The satellite is now in orbit 717 kilometres above Earth. The mission will survey the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets and sea ice until 2013. Researchers expect to gain a new understanding of the relationships between global warming, the shrinking of the polar ice sheets and changes oceanic and atmospheric circulation from the mission. DLR is contributing towards the funding of the mission on behalf of the German Federal Government. Germany contributes 24 percent of the total funding for the European Space Agency's (ESA) Living Planet programme, of which the CryoSat-2 mission is a part. The total cost of the mission is around 140 million Euro.

Credit: ESA-S.Corvaja.