Lift-off for Europe’s space laser network

Europe has begun to roll out a data superhighway in orbit above the Earth.


The first node in the network is a telecommunications satellite launched from Kazakhstan.

It will use a laser to gather pictures of the planet taken by other spacecraft and then relay them to the ground.

It will put information on natural disasters, into the hands of emergency responders far faster than has previously been possible.

Currently, it can take hours to get the pictures taken by Earth observation satellites down on the ground.