Controllers in Toulouse and in Redu, Belgium, are checking out the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) satellite and Project for Onboard Autonomy (Proba-2), respectively, after a successful launch Nov. 1 from Russia’s Plesetsk Cosmodrome on a Rockot vehicle. Liftoff came at 8:50 p.m. EST, and SMOS separated 70 min. later. The vehicle’s upper stage performed two more burns before releasing Proba-2, around 180 min. into the flight. SMOS was placed in a ...

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