Page last updated at 14:44 GMT, Thursday, 8 April 2010 15:44 UK

Europe's Cryosat-2 spacecraft launches from Kazakhstan

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Europe's Cryosat-2 spacecraft has launched from Baikonur in Kazakhstan on a mission to map the Earth's ice cover.

The spacecraft's Dnepr rocket climbed away from its silo at 1357 GMT (1557 CEST).

The satellite was put in orbit 16.5 minutes later.

Cryosat's data should help scientists understand better how melting polar ice could affect ocean circulation patterns, sea level and global climate.

The scientist who proposed Cryosat-2, Professor Duncan Wingham from University College London, watched as the rocket lifted off.

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