On 26 July at 11:30 CEST, EUMETSAT took control of Europe’s last Meteosat Second Generation weather satellite, MSG-4. This follows the successful launch of the satellite on 15 July aboard an Ariane 5 rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, and the Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP) carried out by ESA’s European Space Operations Centre, ESOC, on EUMETSAT’s behalf.
During the last 11 days, the satellite was moved into geostationary orbit, the various components which make up the satellite’s platform were activated and their functionality checked. This included a number of critical manoeuvres like the firing of the apogee motors, the change of spacecraft orientation and the unlocking of the SEVIRI (Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager)scan mirror.
Following handover, EUMETSAT will now begin commissioning the satellite and its sensors. Commissioning consists of a two-month phase of satellite check-out and assessment, followed by four-months for imaging and product testing, including calibration and validation. After commissioning, MSG-4 will be stored in orbit.
The release of the first image generated by the SEVIRI imager on board MSG-4 in some eight days, will be an important milestone.
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 20 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, of whom 18 are Member States of the EU.
Two other Member States of the EU, Hungary and Estonia, have signed Accession Agreements to the ESA Convention and will soon become new ESA Member States.
ESA has established formal cooperation with seven 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 www.esa.int
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The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites is an intergovernmental organisation based in Darmstadt, Germany, currently with 30 Member States (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom) and one Cooperating State (Serbia).
EUMETSAT operates the geostationary satellites Meteosat-8, -9 and -10 over Europe and Africa, and Meteosat-7 over the Indian Ocean.
EUMETSAT also operates two Metop polar-orbiting satellites as part of the Initial Joint Polar System (IJPS) shared with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
EUMETSAT is also a partner in the Jason ocean altimetry missions exploited jointly with NOAA, NASA and CNES.
The data and products from EUMETSAT’s satellites are vital to weather forecasting and make a significant contribution to the monitoring of environment and the global climate.
From 2016 onwards, EUMETSAT will exploit the Copernicus Sentinel-3 marine mission in cooperation with ESA and on behalf of the EU, and deliver data services to the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service.
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