Page last updated at 13:35 GMT, Thursday, 14 May 2009 14:35 UK

Ariane 5 lifts off from French Guiana

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A rocket carrying Europe's Herschel and Planck space telescopes has lifted off from Kourou in French Guiana.

The astronomical satellites are being sent into orbit to gather fundamental new insights into the nature of the cosmos.

The Ariane 5 lifted clear of the equatorial spaceport at 1312 GMT (1412 BST) on a flight scheduled to last just under 30 minutes.

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