August 29, 2008

Russia Launches Five Satellites into Orbit

Russia has launched a cluster of Earth-sensing satellites as a commercial venture to provide companies with up-to-date information on the planet's surface.

Russia's federal space agency said a converted Dnepr rocket carried the small satellites during the launch at the Russian space center in Kazakistan, RIA Novosti reported.

The satellites were launched by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. of Britain and will be operated under contract by RapidEye AG, a German company.

The satellites constellation will allow Russia to provide accurate geographic data to various companies such as agricultural ventures or insurance companies within days, company officials told RIA Novosti.