Azara Blog: European Space Agency Cryosat satellite lost

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Date published: 2005/10/08

The BBC says:

The European Space Agency has confirmed that its ice mission Cryosat has been lost off the Russian coast.

The satellite fell into the Arctic Ocean minutes after lift-off from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia.

The £90m (135m euro) craft was designed to monitor how the Earth's ice masses are responding to climate change.

Scientists said the crash was a "tragedy" and it would be years before they could launch a similar mission, even if more funding were available.
...
The spacecraft was designed to provide data on the extent and thickness of the Earth's ice sheets.

Previous satellite measurements, submarine and surface readings point to rapid melting in some areas, particularly in the Arctic Ocean where the extent of summer ice reached a record minimum this year

The satellite was launched on a Rockot vehicle - a converted SS-19 intercontinental ballistic missile.

Not very good, this would have provided very useful data. Why does the world seem less capable of launching satellites now than back in the 1960s?

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