MetOp satellite shipped to Baikonur on 18 April

Apr 19, 2006
MetOp-A satellite
MetOp-A satellite undergoing final testing at EADS Astrium's facilities in Toulouse. Credits: EADS Astrium/photo C. Mériaux

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 an Antonov-124 transport plane.

MetOp-A is the first in a series of three EUMETSAT Polar System (EPS) satellites developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) for EUMETSAT, the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites. After undergoing a mechanical and environmental test campaign, the spacecraft passed the acceptance review last year and the recent compatibility test between satellite and ground segment cleared the way for shipment of the satellite to Baikonur.

This shipment comprises a service module, a payload module and the solar array, including the electrical and mechanical ground support equipment needed for the launch campaign. The mission includes a total of 12 instruments developed in cooperation with French Space Agency, CNES, and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

MetOp is scheduled for launch on 17 July 2006 at 22.28 Baikonur time (18.28 CEST) with the latest Soyuz ST Fregat launcher operated by Starsem.

MetOp is the first polar orbiting satellite dedicated to operational meteorology. The MetOp satellite services have been designed to provide global weather data until 2020. MetOp, which will fly at a height of about 837 km, promises, with its 12 sophisticated instruments, to provide data of unprecedented accuracy, thus improving global weather forecasting and providing enhanced climate monitoring capabilities.

Source: European Space Agency

Explore further: SpaceX will try again Fri. to launch station cargo

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

MetOp-B launches with NASA Goddard-developed instruments

Sep 18, 2012

(Phys.org)—A new European meteorological satellite soared into space today, Sept. 17, with five environmental instruments aboard that were developed by the Polar Operational Environmental Satellites (POES) Proje ...

Last look at weather satellite

Sep 12, 2012

(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 ...

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 ...

Recommended for you

Red moon at night; stargazer's delight

2 hours ago

Monday night's lunar eclipse proved just as delightful as expected to those able to view it. On the East Coast, cloudy skies may have gotten in the way, but at the National Science Foundation's National Optical ...

Meteorites yield clues to Martian early atmosphere

4 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Geologists who analyzed 40 meteorites that fell to Earth from Mars unlocked secrets of the Martian atmosphere hidden in the chemical signatures of these ancient rocks. Their study, published ...

Let's put a sailboat on Titan

7 hours ago

The large moons orbiting the gas giants in our solar system have been getting increasing attention in recent years. Titan, Saturn's largest moon, is the only natural satellite known to house a thick atmosphere. ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Meteorites yield clues to Martian early atmosphere

(Phys.org) —Geologists who analyzed 40 meteorites that fell to Earth from Mars unlocked secrets of the Martian atmosphere hidden in the chemical signatures of these ancient rocks. Their study, published ...

Red moon at night; stargazer's delight

Monday night's lunar eclipse proved just as delightful as expected to those able to view it. On the East Coast, cloudy skies may have gotten in the way, but at the National Science Foundation's National Optical ...

Researchers see hospitalization records as additional tool

Comparing hospitalization records with data reported to local boards of health presents a more accurate way to monitor how well communities track disease outbreaks, according to a paper published April 16 in the journal PLOS ON ...

Ebola virus in Africa outbreak is a new strain

Scientists say that the Ebola (ee-BOH'-lah) virus that has killed scores of people this year in Guinea (GIH'-nee) is a new strain. That means it did not spread there from outbreaks in some other African nations.