MetOp-C joined the ESA-constellation

Russian Moon base plans

A Soyuz rocket successfully launched a European weather satellite November 6, completing a constellation of polar-orbiting satellites and providing additional reassurance about the reliability of the Soyuz.

The launch took place at approximately 9.47 am local time (3.47 GMT).

This was the third successful Soyuz rocket launch since the October 11 failure of a crew launch to the International Space Station on a Russian version of the Soyuz rocket.

Some 60 minutes later Soyuz's upper stage delivered MetOp-C into orbit and contact was established through the Yatharagga ground station in Australia.

The Start of the "Metop-C" against 3.10 PM CET, the European space operations centre ESOC in Darmstadt, controlled. MetOp-C is the third weather station that is shot in orbit around the Earth by the ESA.

While three MetOp satellites cover the "mid-morning" side of the globe, NOAA satellites keep an eye on the afternoon side.

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"ESA's role is to design, build and launch the satellites fulfilling Eumetsat requirements".

The $550 million MetOp-C satellite has an operational lifetime of 5 years, after which it will be replaced by the second-generation satellites.

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. "But they are still at the height of the time", says Klaes.

Stéfane Carlier, ESA's MetOp Project Manager, noted, "The MetOp satellites carry an array of sensors that measure temperature, humidity, trace gases, ozone and wind speed over the ocean". One instrument measures charged particles in Earth's radiation belts. Dieter Klaes, Eumetsat expects that the spacecraft are good for three years to third in the All, until the two older satellites fail. "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.

Metop-C is the third and last satellite in the Metop family, created to provide data for high-accuracy weather forecasts. "Metop-C is therefore expected to enhance this".

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