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Green light for Venus mission launch

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Venus Express, Europe's first mission to our sister planet, has been given the all clear and a new launch date, after the satellite was grounded because of contamination from the rocket launcher.

The craft will now lift off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on 9 November. It was originally set to launch on 26 October.

The mission is based on the same design and uses much of the same technology as the Mars Express mission. The instruments will send back data on the nature of Venus's atmosphere, and its cloud shrouded surface.

Scientists hope to learn more about how Venus's environment and atmosphere evolved, and how our twin planet ended up so different from Earth.

The launch was delayed on 21 October, because fragments of insulation from the used to protect the satellite during the launch were found inside the satellite, the BBC reports. ®

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