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ESA Official Details Plans for Future Weather Satellites

By | September 25, 2003

      The European Space Agency (ESA) is building a new generation of weather satellites, ESA Director of Earth Observation Programs José Achache told European meteorologists in Rome last week.

      Meteosats, the first generation of ESA weather satellites, are due to be replaced by a new series of improved satellites called Meteosat Second Generation or MSG, Achache said. Designed and built by ESA for Eumetsat, the first such spacecraft, MSG-1 is already in orbit, launched by Ariane 5 from French Guiana in August 2002, he noted.

      ESA is also co-operating with Eumetsat to design and fly the three-satellite MetOp system, planned to be launched into polar orbit in 2005. MetOp is part of a joint European- U.S. system co-ordinated by the World Meteorological Organisation to increase observational coverage over parts of the Earth currently neglected by existing systems.

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