The first of three satellites designed to undertake a comprehensive study the Earth's magnetic field left Munich airport on Tuesday aboard an Ilyushin-76 transport aircraft bound for Plesetsk Cosmodrome, 200 km (124 mi) south of Arkhangelsk, Russia. This first Swarm satellite will be followed by two identical craft and more than 60 tons of support equipment before all three are launched into polar orbit in November.
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