Europe is to press ahead with its Earthcare space laser mission, despite a 30% rise in its probable final cost.
The satellite will study the role clouds and atmospheric particles play in a changing climate.
But the difficulty in finding a workable design for the spacecraft’s lidar instrument means its total budget will now top 590m euros (£500m).
Member states of the European Space Agency are convinced though that Earthcare will deliver invaluable data.
Delegates to the 18-nation alliance this week accepted the findings of a review that assessed the technical risks of proceeding.
They also heard a clear message from the scientific community that Earthcare would do pioneering research.