Monthly Archives: July 2012

MetOp launch campaign resumes

From Damiano (ESA) 25 July  Around three months since the MetOp launch campaign was put on-hold, we are restarting the launch campaign.   The first members of the team arrived here in Baikonur on 10 July.  Since then, every week, different specialists have been landing to support the launch campaign operations. So, most of them will spend a summer in Baikonur with temperatures that reach 50°C. About two months of preparations are necessary to bring the spacecraft to a point where it can be filled with propellant. In fact, this is the same point at which the ‘nominal’ campaign was stopped. Starting with reconditioning the spacecraft batteries, the plan is to remove the...

MSG-3 next steps

Following yesterday’s successful lift off, the launch campaign in Kourou is now drawing to a close. The team in ESA’s European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany, is carrying out important checks on the MSG-3 as part of the Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP). LEOP lasts 10 days. If all goes well, MSG-3 is then officially handed over to Eumetsat for in-orbit testing and commissioning, although ESA and industry continue to support this phase. Commissioning ends when the complete satellite and ground systems are verified and validated, so that MSG-3 can be declared ready for operations. This should be in about six months from now. MSG-3 is then renamed Meteosat-10 and...

MSG-3 lifts off

Ariane 5 lifted on at 23:36 from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana carrying MSG-3 and EchoStar.    

MSG-3 on the launch pad

MSG-3 has been rolled out to the launch pad 3 km away from the integration facilities at Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Launch is set for today at 23.36 CEST. The launch window closes at 00.05. Watch the launch live at

MSG-3: ready for roll out

The Launch Readiness Review took place yesterday and the transfer of the launcher to the launch pad has been authorised for today. The Ariane 5 carrying MSG-3  is now ready for roll out to Launch Pad at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. Launch is confirmed for Thursday 5 July at 23:36 CEST. The launch window closes at 00:05 CEST. The launch of MSG-3 will ensure the continuity of meteorological observations to improve weather forecasts from geostationary orbit 36 000 km above Earth.

MSG-3: launch dress rehearsal completed

The dress rehearsal, which was carried on on 29 June, simulates the procedures to be carried out on the day of launch from launch minus 10 hours to launch plus 30 minutes when MSG-3 separates from the luancher.  During the rehearsal, teams worked where they will be during the real launch, including the  LBC room where the satellite is monitored and the Jupiter-2 control room. ESA’s European Space Operations Centre, ESOC, in Germany were also in the loop. The next milestones are: Launch readiness review on Tuesday Roll out of launcher on Wednesday Launch on Thursday. The launch window opens at 23:36 and closes at 00: 05 (CEST).