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A British satellite has gone into orbit on an Indian rocket to acquire full-colour, high-definition video of the surface of the Earth. The demonstrator is expected to pave the way for a series of at least 15 such spacecraft, which will be operated by the Guildford-based company Earth-i. The small, low-cost UK mission was one of 31 payloads riding on the Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle.

It lifted off from the Satish Dhawan spaceport in Andhra Pradesh.

Controllers made first contact with the UK satellite as planned within a few hours. The spacecraft is a pre-production model. If it performs well over the coming months, its manufacturer, SSTL, also in Guildford, will proceed with Earth-i’s first batch of five operational spacecraft.

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Original Article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-42654281

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