Earth Observation Mission News
Forty years of Meteosat
22 November 2017
ESA's first Earth observation satellite was launched on 23 November 1977. When the first Meteosat satellite took its place in the sky, it completed coverage of the whole globe from geostationary orbit and laid the foundations for European and world cooperation in meteorology that continues today.
Weather – and particularly extreme weather – affects everything we do. Being able to see the whole disc of Earth allows forecasters to see developing weather systems, as well as working out wind speed and direction based on cloud movements. Atlantic hurricanes appear on Meteosat images long before they interact with land, and data from space help to predict their tracks.
Image credit: NASA / ESA - Meteosat-1 lifted off at 13:35 GMT on 23 November 1977 from Cape Canaveral in Florida.