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N° 36–2015: Call for Media: Signing of MetOp-SG cooperation agreement

30 September 2015

Media representatives are invited to an event for the signing of the Cooperation Agreement between ESA and EUMETSAT on the MetOp Second Generation series of meteorological satellites.

The event, which marks the latest landmark in the highly successful and long-standing cooperation between ESA and EUMETSAT, will be held at ESA headquarters in Paris, France, on Monday 5 October.


The agreement will be signed by Volker Liebig, ESA’s Director of Earth Observation Programmes, and Alain Ratier, EUMETSAT’s Director General.

The MetOp-SG satellites are the space segment of the EUMETSAT Polar System Second Generation which will deliver vital observations from polar orbit over the period 2021–42. The future system will continue and expand existing observation capabilities, required to improve operational weather forecasting up to 10 days ahead.

Comprising six satellites in total, MetOp-SG will be operated as a dual system. The A-series of satellites will be an atmospheric sounding and optical imaging mission, while the B-series will be a microwave imaging mission.


The new system will deliver significant improvements for weather forecasting, atmospheric chemistry, operational oceanography, hydrology and climate monitoring. Each series will consist of three satellites to ensure an operational lifetime of 21 years.


The first A satellite is planned to be launched in mid‑2021, followed by the first B satellite 18 months later.


Through this agreement, the successful cooperation model that has developed between the two organisations will be formalised for the MetOp-SG satellites:


  • ESA is responsible for developing the satellites, fulfilling user and system requirements defined by EUMETSAT and for procuring the recurrent satellites on its behalf;
  • EUMETSAT procures the launch services and develops the ground systems required to control the satellites, acquire and process their data and deliver products and services to users and to respond to their evolving needs.


The combined financial envelope for the ESA MetOp-SG Programme and the EUMETSAT EPS-SG Programme is more than €4.1 billion at 2012 economic conditions.


11:30–11:35     Welcome (J. Woerner, ESA DG)

11.35–11:45     EUMETSAT EPS-SG Programme (A. Ratier, EUMETSAT DG)

11:45–11:55     MetOp-SG satellites (V. Liebig, Director of ESA Earth Observation Programmes)

11:55–12:00    Signing of agreement           

12:00–12:15    Q&A with media                   

12:15–12:30    Refreshments

12:30               End of event


Media interested in joining the event should email by Friday, 2 October 2015 at the latest.

About the European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) provides Europe’s gateway to space.

ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe's space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

ESA has 21 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, of whom 19 are Member States of the EU.

One other Member State of the EU, Hungary, has signed the Accession Agreement to the ESA Convention and, upon ratification, will soon become the 22nd ESA Member State.

ESA has established formal cooperation with seven other Member States of the EU.

Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement.

ESA is also working with the EU on implementing the Galileo and Copernicus programmes.

By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.

ESA develops the launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities needed to keep Europe at the forefront of global space activities.

Today, it develops and launches satellites for Earth observation, navigation, telecommunications and astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System and cooperates in the human exploration of space.

Learn more about ESA at


For further information:

ESA Media Relations Office


Tel: +33 1 53 69 72 99