Page last updated at 04:10 GMT, Friday, 21 May 2010 05:10 UK

Japan's Venus mission lifts off


Japan has launched its first Venus probe satellite, for a two-year mission.

An H-IIA rocket carrying the Venus climate orbiter called Akatsuki blasted off from a Japanese space centre in Kagoshima, southern Japan.

Television pictures showed the vehicle lifting off and heading into space, jettisoning its solid-fuel boosters on the way and finally letting slip the much smaller probe.


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