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Friday, 1 March, 2002, 05:07 GMT
Envisat in pictures
Launch, Esa
The Ariane 5 blasts away from the launch pad on time
Europe's largest and most expensive satellite was launched into space on Thursday on an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou in French Guiana.

Party, BBC
The successful launch signalled the start of a party
The successful launch signalled the start of a party. Many people have been working on the project since the late 1980s.

Roll-out, BBC
The rocket was rolled out after some intial technical problems
The blast-off could have been delayed. The rocket was rolled out only after engineers had managed to fix a technical glitch with a venting system that kept important components cool.

Artists' impression of Envisat (European Space Agency)
Envisat will collect data from space for at least five years
Envisat's 10 instruments will collect data from space for at least five years.

Envisat about to be loaded on to the rocket (Astrium)
The whole project has cost 1.4bn to put together
The whole project has cost 1.4bn to put together with the UK putting up 300m - the most Britain has ever spent on one satellite.

Flag, Esa
The Envisat flag was designed by a 12-year-old
The Envisat flag, designed by a 12-year-old, sums up the satellite's mission to planet Earth.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Richard Forrest
"This launch went off without a hitch"
The BBC's Helen Briggs
"Everything went to plan"

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