Flagship UK telecommunications satellite launches
Science desk || shiningbd
A telecommunications satellite has gone into orbit that UK industry hopes will help maintain its global leadership in the sector.
A quarter of the world's big telecoms spacecraft are manufactured in Britain, and the new Quantum platform is billed as a next-generation product.
It's fully software-defined, meaning it can be reconfigured in space to meet changing market conditions.
Quantum was launched on an Ariane-5 rocket from French Guiana.
It will be manoeuvred to a position 36,000km above the equator, just east of Somalia, from where it will serve principally North African and Middle Eastern customers.
Although the manufacturing of Quantum has been led from the UK, it is the French, Paris-based operator Eutelsat that owns the spacecraft.