Rocket "Soyuz-ST" with the MetOp satellite-was successfully launched from Kourou

Christopher Davidson
November 8, 2018

The European Space Agency (ESA) launched the MetOp-C weather station from Kourou in French Guiana on the night of Tuesday to Wednesday UTC.

The launch took place at 9: 47 local time.

The launch is the third for the Soyuz since an October 11 failure during the launch of the crewed Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft, forcing the use of the rocket's abort system to escape from the rocket and safely land downrange from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. That will be followed by an Ariane 5 launch of two communications satellites in early December and a Soyuz launch of a French reconnaissance satellite in mid-December.

About an hour after liftoff, the rocket's Fregat upper stage deployed MetOp-C into a almost polar, sun-synchronous orbit just over 500 miles (800 kilometers) above Earth.

The intention was that the space stations would succeed each other, but ESA said that the first two still work. Like MetOp-A and MetOp-B, MetOp-C will join forces with NOAA's fleet of weather satellites through an global partnership between NOAA and EUMETSAT.

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The satellite MetOp-owned European organization of satellite meteorology (EUMETSAT).

"ESA's role is to design, build and launch the satellites fulfilling Eumetsat requirements". "But they are still at the height of the time", says Klaes.

MetOp-C is the last in the current series of MetOp satellites, following on from MetOp-A, which was launched in 2006, and MetOp-B, which was launched in 2012.

"Metop-C" has nine instruments on Board, to temperature, humidity, the composition of the atmosphere, the sea surface temperature, strengthening of wind, -to measure direction and speed, as well as the properties of clouds. One instrument measures charged particles in Earth's radiation belts.

"These data are used mainly for numerical weather prediction - the basis for weather forecasting. Recent studies show that MetOp-A and MetOp-B have already reduced errors in one-day forecasts by as much as 27 percent", ESA officials said in a statement. The Metop-C satellite on the rocket deployed from the Fregat upper stage one hour after liftoff. "Metop-C is therefore expected to enhance this".

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