Last look at weather satellite

Sep 12, 2012
Last view of MetOp-B as it is eased into the rocket fairing for launch on 17 September 2012. Credits: ESA

(Phys.org)—As preparations for the launch of Europe's latest weather satellite continue on track, the team in Kazakhstan has said farewell to MetOp-B as it was sealed in the Soyuz rocket fairing. Liftoff is set for 16:28 GMT (18:28 CEST) on Monday.
 
Encapsulation is an important and somewhat emotional milestone on the road to launch as it is the last time MetOp-B will be seen.
The launch campaign team has spent the last six weeks or so at the Baikonur Cosmodrome testing and preparing this four-tonne satellite for life in orbit around Earth.

Now encased in the fairing, which protects the satellite from the rigours of launch, MetOp-B will not be exposed until the fairing half-shells are released about five minutes after launch.

After the third stage of the rocket has dropped away, the Fregat upper stage will take the satellite into orbit 800 km above Earth.  

Prior to encapsulation, the satellite was mated to the Fregat. The team, which includes engineers from ESA, Eumetsat, Astrium NASA/NOAA, CNES and SELEX Galileo, declared MetOp-B ready for flight.

Meanwhile, the mission control teams at ESA's in Germany have spent the last months preparing for the launch and the early orbit phase.

ESA is responsible for ensuring that satellite is in the correct orbit and that all the systems are working properly before handing it over to Eumetsat for operations.

MetOp-B is the second in the series of three identical polar-orbiting weather satellites to provide data for weather forecasting and climate monitoring.

Explore further: Google exec makes record skydive from edge of space

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Europe's next weather satellite gears up for launch

Mar 20, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- Following the safe arrival of the MetOp-B weather satellite in Kazakhstan, the sophisticated craft is now being carefully assembled and tested before launch on 23 May. MetOp-B will provide ...

Weather satellite to be delivered in orbit to Eumetsat

Sep 10, 2012

Later this month, Europe's newest meteorology satellite, MetOp-B, will blast into space from Baikonur Cosmodrome. For mission control teams at ESA, liftoff marks the start of 72 hours of intense focus during ...

MetOp satellite shipped to Baikonur on 18 April

Apr 19, 2006

The first MetOp meteorological satellite arrived yesterday at its launch site, the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, following shipment from the industrial prime contractor, EADS Astrium in Toulouse, on board ...

ESA's MetOp launch again aborted

Oct 18, 2006

The launch of the European Space Agency's MetOp satellite was postponed Wednesday for the fifth time with 2 minutes, 35 seconds left in the countdown.

MetOp to be launched in October

Aug 07, 2006

MetOp, the first in the new European series of operational meteorological satellites in polar orbit, is now scheduled for launch on 7 October 2006. The new date was established last week following various planning ...

Recommended for you

Hinode satellite captures X-ray footage of solar eclipse

13 hours ago

The moon passed between the Earth and the sun on Thursday, Oct. 23. While avid stargazers in North America looked up to watch the spectacle, the best vantage point was several hundred miles above the North ...

Asteroid 2014 SC324 zips by Earth Friday afternoon

22 hours ago

What a roller coaster week it's been. If partial eclipses and giant sunspots aren't your thing, how about a close flyby of an Earth-approaching asteroid?  2014 SC324 was discovered on September 30 this ...

User comments : 0