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Champagne box
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
France launched a champagne box-sized mini satellite into Earth orbit on Friday to study a mysterious, juvenile planet system in our Milky Way galaxy, mission controllers said. Weighing in at 3.5 kilogrammes (7.7 pounds), the PicSat satellite was hoisted into space by an Indian PSLV rocket, and placed into orbit at an altitude of 505 kilometres (314 miles), according to the Paris Observatory, involved in the project. PicSat's target is the massive star Beta Pictoris, some 60 light years from Earth in the southern constellation of Pictor (The Painter's Easel), and its planet Beta Pictoris b -- a gassy giant. read more
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