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The TwinSat project involves the launch of two satellites - one of which they say is about the size of an old television set and the other smaller than a shoebox - which will orbit the earth a few hundred miles apart
"As stress builds up in the Earth prior to an earthquake, subtle electromagnetic signals are released that can be read from the upper atmosphere," said Professor Alan Smith, Director of the Mullard Space Science Laboratory at University College, London, who was in Moscow this week to launch the project
"We want to try to work out how these signals differ from all the other things that are present at any given time." The two linked satellites will monitor zones with high seismic and volcanic activity, such as Iceland and the Kamchatka Peninsula in the far east of Russia. The project is being run by a team of British and Russian scientists and was heralded "a new milestone in UK-Russia space collaboration" by Professor Smith
The first satellite launch is planned for 2015, and the team is confident that the project could change the way we understand earthquakes