Press Release

Press Release

EUMETSAT chooses Arianespace to launch Metop-C

Evry, September 10, 2010

The European meteorological satellite organization EUMETSAT has chosen Arianespace to launch its new satellite, Metop-C.

Metop-C will be launched into polar orbit during the last quarter of 2016 by a Soyuz launch vehicle from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana.

The Metop programme – Meteorological Operational Polar Satellite – is a joint effort of EUMETSAT, the European Space Agency (ESA), the French Space Agency (CNES) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). It comprises three satellites that are designed to provide a continuous stream of constantly calibrated meteorological data.

Metop-C is the third in the series. Metop-A was launched in October 2006 by Starsem, a subsidiary of Arianespace, using a Soyuz rocket at the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Metop-B will also be launched by Starsem, in the second quarter of 2012.

Built by Astrium, the Metop-C satellite will weigh 4,250 kg at launch. It will be fitted with a dozen instruments designed to take atmospheric measurements (pressure, humidity, temperature, ozone concentration, etc.) at different altitudes, and to map temperatures and wind fields on the ocean surface.

Metop-C is the 13th satellite for which EUMETSAT has chosen an Arianespace launch.

About Arianespace

Arianespace is the world’s leading launch service & solutions company, providing innovation to its customers since 1980. Backed by 24 shareholders and the European Space Agency, Arianespace offers an unrivalled family of launchers, comprising Ariane 5, Soyuz and Vega, and an international workforce renowned for a culture of commitment and excellence. As of September 10 2010, Arianespace had launched a total of 283 payloads, including more than half of all the commercial satellites now in service worldwide. It has a backlog of 22 Ariane 5 and 18 Soyuz launches, equal to more than three years of business.

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