Europe's second polar-orbiting weather satellite is aloft |
17 September 2012
The second Metop satellite was launched on Monday from the Baikonur cosmodrome, in Kazakhstan, atop a Russian Soyuz launcher.
Metop-B will ensure the continuity of the weather and atmospheric monitoring service provided by its predecessor Metop-A, which has been circling the globe from pole to pole, 14 times a day, since 2006 and has now exceeded its design lifetime.
The Soyuz-Fregat vehicle lifted off at 16:28 GMT on Monday, 17 September. The Fregat upper stage manoeuvred to release the satellite into a polar orbit at an altitude of 810 km some 69 minutes later, over the Kerguelen Archipelago, in the Indian Ocean.
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