ESA sets MetOp-A launch date

Sep 14, 2006

The European Space Agency says the launch of MetOp-A, the first in a new European series of three meteorological satellites, will be Oct. 7.

The satellite, designed to monitor the Earth's atmosphere from polar orbit, will lift off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and will complement Europe's Meteosat satellites that are already positioned in geostationary orbit.

The MetOp series will form the European part of an integrated system to be deployed jointly with NASA to provide better weather and climate information.

The MetOp satellite series is a joint program being carried out by the Paris-based ESA and the European Meteorological Satellite Organization, with the latter to operate the spacecraft once they are in orbit.

The MetOp satellites will circle the Earth from pole to pole at an altitude of about 507 miles (817 kilometers), collecting high-resolution data to complement the hemispheric survey of the atmosphere conducted from geostationary orbit by the Meteosat system.

The U.S. satellites will operate the "afternoon shift," crossing the equator during the afternoon, local time, with Europe's MetOp taking over the "morning orbit" service.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Space sex geckos at risk as Russia loses control of satellite

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Taking weather forecasting into the future

May 21, 2014

The first documents signalling the go-ahead for Europe's fleet of MetOp Second Generation weather satellites were signed today in the presence of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Berlin Air Show.

Satellite shows high productivity from US corn belt

Mar 31, 2014

Data from satellite sensors show that during the Northern Hemisphere's growing season, the Midwest region of the United States boasts more photosynthetic activity than any other spot on Earth, according to ...

China's pollution seen from space

Jan 17, 2014

Scientists said on Friday they had mapped ground-level air pollution in China from space for the first time, a feat that should help the fight against a notorious health hazard.

Precise remote sounding for better climate models

Sep 09, 2013

The water budget of the troposphere, the bottom layer of the Earth's atmosphere, determines the weather and plays a central role in climate change. The isotope composition of water vapor, i.e. the ratio of ...

Recommended for you

Video: A dizzying view of the Earth from space

15 hours ago

We've got vertigo watching this video, but in a good way! This is a sped-up view of Earth from the International Space Station from the Cupola, a wraparound window that is usually used for cargo ship berthings ...

NEOWISE spots a comet that looked like an asteroid

15 hours ago

Comet C/2013 UQ4 (Catalina) has been observed by NASA's Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) spacecraft just one day after passing through its closest approach to the sun. The comet ...

What the UK Space Agency can teach Australia

15 hours ago

Australia has had an active civil space program since 1947 but has much to learn if it is to capture a bigger share of growing billion dollar global space industry. ...

Discover the "X-factor" of NASA's Webb telescope

16 hours ago

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray observatory have something in common: a huge test chamber used to simulate the hazards of space and the distant glow of starlight. Viewers can learn about ...

User comments : 0