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: Packing for Mars

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA's RapidScat keeps a watchful eye on ocean storms

Oct 16, 2014

On Sept. 20, NASA launched a sequel to a classic Earth science mission that was a hit with researchers and forecasters of hurricanes and other tropical cyclones. Unlike many Hollywood remakes, this one promises ...

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 ...

Recommended for you

Packing for Mars

32 minutes ago

Like surgeons in an operating room, the technicians work gowned and masked in ESA's ultraclean microbiology laboratory, ensuring a high-tech sensor will not contaminate the Red Planet with terrestrial microbes.

Historical comet-landing site is looking for a name

2 hours ago

The Rosetta mission reaches a defining moment on Wednesday November 12, when its lander, Philae, is released. After about seven hours of descent, Philae will arrive on the surface of Comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko. ...

Image: Siding Spring grazes Mars

3 hours ago

This excellent view of Mars seen together with Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring was captured by Scott Ferguson, Florida, USA, on 19 October 2014 on the morning that the enigmatic object made the closest-known ...

China to send orbiter to moon and back

6 hours ago

China will launch its latest lunar orbiter in the coming days, state media said Wednesday, in its first attempt to send a spacecraft around the moon and back to Earth.

NASA Webb's heart survives deep freeze test

16 hours ago

After 116 days of being subjected to extremely frigid temperatures like that in space, the heart of the James Webb Space Telescope, the Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM) and its sensitive instruments, ...

User comments : 0