MSG-3 delivers first image
MSG-3 today captured its first image of Earth with its Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (SEVIRI).
MSG-3 first image (Credits: EUMETSAT)
After performing the critical 11-day Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP), ESA officially handed MSG-3 operations over to Eumetsat on 16 July for the commissioning operations.
Commissioning will last about six months and includes checking that the imaging service is fully functional and delivers high-quality products for weather forecasting. This first image demonstrates that MSG-3 is performing well and is on its way to taking over operational service.
MetOp launch campaign takes off
From Damiano Serlenga (ESA), Baikonur Cosmodrome, 6 March 2012
Loading MetOp-B onto the Antonov aircraft at Toulouse airport
We have arrived at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. We flew on an Antonov cargo aircraft from Toulouse, France along with several containers of ground support equipment we need to prepare MetOp-B for launch on 23 May.
The shipment from France to Kazakhstan was made by three Antonov cargo aircraft. The first carried 12 containers of equipment needed to prepare the satellite for launch, the second carried the MetOp-B satellite (the payload module and service module) along with another 6 containers and the third flight carried MetOp-B’s solar array and 10 more containers.
The journey hasn’t been easy as the weather caused delays. In fact, the satellite shipment was held up in Moscow for more than three days because of snow.
MetOp-B will follow on from MetOp-A, which was launched in 2006, to provide essential data for weather predication and climate monitoring. Since MetOp-A is still in service, the two satellites will fly in tandem.
The series of MetOp satellites carry a host of sensitive instruments to measure a wide range of variables such as temperature and humidity, wind speed and direction over oceans, ozone and other atmospheric gases.
The coming weeks will be spent integrating and testing this second MetOp satellite before it joins its Soyuz launcher that will take it into polar orbit.