MetOp in vertical position
Applications

Europe's first polar-orbiting weather satellite ready for launch

16/10/2006 330 views 0 likes
ESA / Applications / Observing the Earth / Meteorological missions / MetOp

Following the roll out to the launch pad and erection at the launch tower at the weekend, MetOp is ready for launch at 18:28 CEST tomorrow from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The launch of Europe's first polar-orbiting weather satellite is set to make a major contribution to global weather forecasting and climate monitoring.

The roll out to the launch pad and erection of the Soyuz rocket at the launch tower took place on Saturday 14 October. Carried by train, the launcher left the hall where the upper-composite, which comprises the MetOp satellite and the Fregat upper-stage, had been integrated with the third-stage of the launch vehicle. The train slowly pulled its cargo over to the launch pad where the rocket was erected with the help of a huge hydraulic ram. The final countdown rehearsal followed, confirming that the launch will go-ahead tomorrow.

MetOp roll out to launch pad
MetOp roll out to launch pad

Once launched, MetOp will be renamed 'MetOp-A' as it is the first in a series of three satellites developed as part of a joint undertaking between ESA and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), whereby MetOp forms the space segment of EUMETSAT's Polar System (EPS). In addition, MetOp is the European contribution to a new cooperative venture with the American National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), so that MetOp and NOAA satellites fly in complementary orbits to maximise the coverage area over which observations are made.

Launcher being erected at launch tower
Launcher being erected at launch tower

MetOp is Europe's first polar-orbiting satellite dedicated to operational meteorology and with its array of sophisticated instruments, this weather satellite promises to provide data of unprecedented accuracy and resolution on a whole host of different variables such as atmospheric temperature and humidity, wind speed and direction over the ocean, ozone and other trace gases, thus making a major contribution to global weather forecasting and climate monitoring capabilities. The payload also includes an instrument for data collection, an instrument to observe the weather in space as well as a tracking system to aid search-and-rescue operations.

MetOp in orbit
MetOp in orbit

At just over 4000 kg, MetOp is the second largest Earth-observation satellite built in Europe. Its launch tomorrow will mark a new era in the field of meteorology by improving medium- to long-term weather forecasting and climate monitoring whilst contributing to our understanding of global change.

Related Links

Applications

MetOp launch status

460 views 0 likes
Open item
MetOp in vertical position
Applications

Europe's first polar-orbiting weather satellite ready for l…

16/10/2006 330 views 0 likes
Open item
Upper-composite and third-stage being coupled
Applications

Integration of MetOp upper-composite and third-stage comple…

13/10/2006 294 views 0 likes
Open item
MetOp upper-composite being lifted onto the train
Applications

Safe arrival at the launch facility for MetOp

11/10/2006 288 views 0 likes
Open item
MetOp encapsulation
Applications

MetOp encapsulated in fairing

10/10/2006 375 views 0 likes
Open item
MetOp joins the Fregat upper-stage
Applications

MetOp integrated with Fregat upper-stage

26/09/2006 472 views 0 likes
Open item
Cleaning the GOME-2 instrument
Applications

MetOp launch campaign resumed

19/09/2006 305 views 0 likes
Open item
MetOp in orbit
Agency

MetOp to be launched in October

07/08/2006 417 views 0 likes
Open item
MetOp on the launch pad
Agency

Launch of MetOp-A postponed

20/07/2006 478 views 0 likes
Open item
Roll-out to the launch pad
Applications

MetOp ready for launch

17/07/2006 396 views 0 likes
Open item
Upper-composite moved out of UCIF
Applications

Upper-composite transferred to launcher integration facility

14/07/2006 385 views 0 likes
Open item
MetOp ready for encapsulation
Applications

Last-ever look at MetOp

11/07/2006 403 views 0 likes
Open item
MetOp being lifted by crane
Applications

MetOp joins Fregat upper-stage

07/07/2006 328 views 0 likes
Open item
MetOp leaving the HPF
Agency

MetOp fuelled and pressurised

04/07/2006 460 views 0 likes
Open item
MetOp in UCIF
Applications

MetOp-A gets green light for 17 July launch date

27/06/2006 499 views 0 likes
Open item
AMSU-A1 installation
Applications

MetOp – last phase of testing before launch

22/06/2006 345 views 0 likes
Open item
MetOp's arrival at Baikonur
Agency

MetOp satellite shipped to Baikonur on 18 April

19/04/2006 699 views 0 likes
Open item
Soyuz launch
Agency

Soyuz launch vehicle

0 views 0 likes
Open item