Arianespace will launch a new European weather satellite Tuesday, using a Soyuz rocket to deploy the Metop-C spacecraft into orbit around the Earth. Liftoff from the Centre Spatial Guyanais in Kourou, French Guiana, is expected at 21:47:27 local time (00:47 UTC on Wednesday).
The Meteorological Operational (Metop) satellites are operated by the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), making up the EUMETSAT Polar System (EPS). Operating in near-polar sun-synchronous orbits, Metop satellites carry a suite of instruments to study and monitor the Earth’s weather.
The EUMETSAT Polar System contributes to the Initial Joint Polar System (IJPS), an international partnership between EUMETSAT and the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). IJPS, which also incorporates the NOAA’s Polar Operational Environmental Satellites (POES), sees the two agencies share data and use each other’s ground stations to control their satellites and downlink data. The NOAA has also provided several of the instruments that fly aboard Metop satellites.
Metop is one of two series of weather satellites operated by EUMETSAT: the organization also operates a fleet of spacecraft in higher geostationary orbits, Meteosat. EUMETSAT also partners with the European Space Agency (ESA) and European Commission on the Sentinel Earth science ...