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Europe launches Meteosat spacecraft

The latest spacecraft in Europe's long-running Meteosat series goes into orbit to provide continuity of data for forecasters.

The latest spacecraft in Europe's long-running Meteosat series has just gone into orbit on an Ariane rocket.

It is now being manoeuvred into a position some 36,000km above the Earth from where it can keep a constant watch on developing weather systems.

Alain Ratier is the director-general of Eumetsat, the intergovernmental organisation charged with operating Europe's weather platforms. He described the purpose of the Meteosats to our correspondent Jonathan Amos.