The European meteorological satellite organization (Eumetsat) has selected Arianespace to launch its new Metop-C satellite into polar orbit on a Soyuz launch vehicle during the last quarter of 2016, Arianespace announced Sept. 10.
The Meteorological Operational Polar Satellite program, a joint effort of Eumetsat, the European Space Agency, the French Space Agency (CNES) and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, comprises three satellites that are designed to provide a continuous stream of constantly calibrated meteorological data.
Metop-C, built by Astrium, will be fitted with a dozen instruments designed to take atmospheric measurements at different altitudes, and to map temperatures and wind fields on the ocean surface.
Metop-C is the third in the series and the 13th Eumetsat satellite Arianespace will launch. Metop-A was launched in October 2006 by Starsem, a subsidiary of Arianespace, using a Soyuz rocket at the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Starsem also will launch Metop-B, in the second quarter of 2012.
Financial details of the contract were not disclosed.