Metop-C Weather Satellite Launches Aboard Soyuz Rocket

Arianespace launch European Metop-C weather satellite aboard Soyuz rocket.
A Soyuz rocket blasts off from the Guiana Space Center on November 7, 2018 | Image credit: Arianespace

A third European Metop weather satellite has been launched aboard an Arianespace Soyuz rocket. The launch was the 45th Soyuz mission undertaken by Arianespace and the European-Russian launch provider Starsem.

The Soyuz rocket lifted off from the Guiana Space Center at 00:47 UTC this morning. Following the launch, Arianespace confirmed on Twitter that the satellite had been deployed successfully into an 817-kilometer sun-synchronous orbit.

The Metop-C satellite is the third and final first generation Metop weather satellite. Along with the still operational Metop-A and B (launched in 2006 and 2012 respectively), the three satellites make up the EUMETSAT Polar System (EPS). The polar-orbiting satellites provide detailed observations of the oceans, continents and the global atmosphere. In addition to carrying instruments developed by European partners, the Metop satellites carry a selection of legacy hardware supplied by the United States.

EUMETSAT plan to begin launching their second generation Metop-SG satellites in 2021. A total of six satellites are expected to make up the EPS-SG system with the final satellite projected to be launched in December 2036.

Andrew Parsonson is a space enthusiast and the founder of Rocket Rundown. He has worked as a journalist and blogger for various industries for over 5 years and has a passion for both fictional and real-life space travel. Currently, Andrew is the primary writer for Rocket Rundown as we look to expand our reach and credibility.