New Date Set For Metop Launch
June 30, 2012

New Date Set For Metop Launch

Lee Rannals for - Your Universe Online

The European Space Agency (ESA) announced a new launch date for its latest edition to its polar-orbiting satellite group, Metop.

The new launch date is set for Metop-B satellite on September 19, 2012, when it will be lifting off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

ESA said the satellite is being stored in a controlled environment in the Starsem facilities in Baikonur, and it will be subject to a set of tests and activities before its fueling in August.

The satellite is the second of three Metop polar-orbiting satellites, which are being developed on behalf of the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) by ESA.

The satellite will house instruments that were provided by the French space agency (CNES) and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The Metop satellites will be forming the space segment of the EUMETSAT Polar System, according to ESA.

EUMETSAT is an intergovernmental organization with 26 European Member States. The organization operates the Meteosat-8 and -9 geostationary satellites over Europe and Africa, as well as the Meteosat-7 group over the Indian Ocean.

Metop-A was the first European polar-orbiting meteorological satellite, and was launched in October 2006. ESA said that Metop-A has been delivering operational data since May 15, 2007.

The Jason-2 ocean altimetry satellite, which is another EUMETSAT mission, launched on June 20 2008. This satellite helped add ocean surface topography to the organization's missions.

ESA said that EUMETSAT´s satellites make a significant contribution to weather forecasting and to the monitoring of the global climate.