MetOp-A will be launched on a Soyuz/ST Fregat rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Once MetOp has reached its orbital altitude of 800 km above the surface of the Earth and in the correct position, the solar array, which is on the zenith side of the satellite, is gently deployed to face the Sun. This procedure takes up to 17 minutes and happens in two stages. Initially, the solar array arm rotates 120° up and over. Then, the large eight-section panel opens out.