The 250kg (550lb) Swedish science satellite Odin was launched successfully from the Russian Svobodny cosmodrome on 20 February aboard a four-stage Start 1 booster, and placed into a 644km (400miles) sun-synchronous orbit.

Odin was built by Swedish Space - in co-operation with Canada, Finland and France - for the Swedish National Space Board, to perform Earth atmosphere and astronomy observations on a two-year mission. Its purpose is to study the causes and locations of ozone depletion by scanning the stratosphere over the southern and northern hemispheres.

Odin's low-cost spacecraft bus is being considered for future missions by the European Space Agency. The Start 1 is based on the former SS-25 missile.

Source: Flight International