MetOp-C Launch Campaign

Today I visited my ESA colleagues, Stefane Carlier and Susana da Mota Silva who are here in CSG with Metop-C.
The Metop-C Payload Module is visible in the background, mounted on it’s MGSE. Next week it will be mated to the Service Module and I will have the opportunity to see it from the clean room.

I took the opportunity to visit one of the four ESA launch campaigns currently on site, Metop-C. Once in orbit it will be operated by the organisation Eumetsat.
Eumetsat is a European agency, created in 1986, whose purpose is to gather accurate and reliable satellite data on weather, climate and the environment around the clock, and to deliver them to the 30 Member States, the international partners, and to users world-wide.

The Metop-C satellite has been shipped in three parts: the Service Platform (SVM), the Payload Module (PLM) and the Solar Array (SA).
It is of the same family as Metop-A (launched in 2006) and Metop-B (launched in 2012). Both these satellites are still in operation and today, they provide data used by forecasters to make their weather predictions. Eumetsat has used these two satellites to develop new services for their clients which greatly improve the forecasting. From what I understood, thanks to Metop data, reliable predictions were stretched from 4 to 5 days. Metop-C will ensure continuity of this service until the next generation of MetOp satellites (MetOp-SG) starts to take over starting in 2022.

Having said that, we are so used to glancing at our phones these days and checking what the weather will be tomorrow or the rest of the week, assuming it will be accurate, without wondering about what it took to make those predictions. I am old enough to remember a time when the 24 hour forecast showed bright sunshine whereas in reality it poured with rain…

Here you can see ” it”, a neat 4 ton creation, with mounted instruments, minus it’s Solar Array. The Solar Array will be mounted later during the campaign and launch is foreseen with a Soyuz on November 6th, 2018

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