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N° 60–2005: Meteosat Second Generation-2: watch the launch live

14 December 2005

The second satellite in the Meteosat Second Generation family is due to be launched on 21 December at 23:33 CET onboard an Ariane 5 (generic version) from Europe’s spaceport at Kourou, French Guiana. The launch window will last 28 minutes.


This is the second launch for the Meteosat Second Generation series of satellites operated by Arianespace and provided to Eumetsat by ESA. The second passenger onboard Ariane 5 will be the Insat4A multipurpose satellite (telecom, broadcasting and meteorology), owned by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

On separation from the launcher's upper stage, 36 minutes after lift-off, the first signal from the satellite should reach ESA’s control centre, ESOC, at Darmstadt, which is in charge of the early phases in the life of the satellite for EUMETSAT. After it, EUMETSAT is to subsequently take over the commissioning and the routine operations.

The needs of users of meteorological data and images have changed since the introduction of satellite data for weather forecasting in 1977. Eumetsat, in cooperation with ESA, has therefore developed a second generation of satellite systems which substantially improves on the services offered by the existing Meteosat fleet.

Four satellites will provide continuous meteorological coverage until 2018. Since the launch of the first MSG satellite in 2002, meteorological images have been delivered every 15 minutes (instead of 30 with the first-generation Meteosat satellites) on 12 spectral channels (instead of 3) and provide vital data for a variety of applications in weather forecasting and the monitoring of climate and the environment. ESA, on behalf of EUMETSAT, will continue to act as procurement agent for all four spacecraft.

On the occasion of the MSG 2 launch, EUMETSAT and ESA will be jointly organising a launch event at Eumetsat Headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany, from 18:00 to 00:30 CET. A live televised transmission of the launch provided by Arianespace will bring images to broadcasters and the general public, while ESA senior management and specialists will be on hand at EUMETSAT for explanations and interviews.

ESA will also be covering the event live on the web in a dedicated launch special. Here you will find updates, the launch diary, background info, images and videos, as well as streaming of the launch offered by Eumetsat. Visit: and

Media representatives wishing to follow the event at EUMETSAT, or the rebroadcast transmission at the ESA establishments, are requested to fill in the attached registration form and fax it back to the place of their choice no later than 16 December.

Broadcasters wishing to access the live launch transmission are requested to contact the Arianespace Press Officer, Mario Delepine (, Tel +33 1 6087 6000) for provision of the signal at local ends at the BT Tower London or SERTE Paris.

The ESA TV Service will transmit pre-event footage on 19 December. For transmission details and a script, go to

For further information, please contact:

ESA Media Relations Division

Tel: +33(0)

Fax: +33(0)

EUMETSAT Media Relations

Tel: +49(0)6151.807.7320

Fax: +49(0)6151.807.7321


Launch of Meteosat Second Generation-2

Wednesday 21 December 2005

Eumetsat, Am Kavalleriesand, 31 Darmstadt, Germany


18:00 - Welcoming address at Eumetsat

18:15 - Transfer by bus to ESA/ESOC

18:30 - Tour of ESA’s control centre

19:00 - Press briefing

19:30 - Departure for Eumetsat

20:00 - Press conference

20:45 - Doors open

21:20 - Programme starts

23:33 - Launch

00:30 - Programme ends


Launch of Meteosat Second Generation-2

21 December 2005

Accreditation form

First name: __________________ Surname: ____________________

Media: ____________________________________________________


Tel: _________________________ Fax:_________________________

Mobile: ______________________ E-mail: _____________________

I will be attending the MSG-2 launch at the following site:

[ ]Germany

Location: Eumetsat

Address: Am Kavalleriesand, 31 – Darmstadt, Germany

Opening times: 18:00 – 00:30

Contact: Livia Briese – Tel: +49.6151.807.7320 – Fax: +49.6151.807.7321

[ ]The Netherlands

Location: Space Expo, ESA/ESTEC Visitors’ Centre

Address: Keplerlaan 3, Noordwijk, The Netherlands

Opening times: 22:15-01:30

Contact: Michel van Baal – Tel: +31(0)71.565.3006 – Before the launch: +31.71.565.8016 – Fax: +31.71.565.5728

[ ]Italy

Location: ESA/ESRIN

Address: Via Galileo Galilei, Frascati (Rome), Italy

Opening times: 23:10-00.30

Contact: Fanco Morgia – Tel: +39.06.9418.0951 – e-mail: – Lorena Martino : Tel: +39.06.9418.0354 – E-mail:

[ ]France

Location: Arianespace

Address : Boulevard de l’Europe – Evry, France

Opening times: 22:45-01:00

Contact: Jacques Denavaut - Tel: + – Fax: +



For further information:

ESA Media Relations Division

Tel: +33(0)

Fax: +33(0)