DAVID DUCROS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID DUCROS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
MetOp weather satellite launch. Artwork of the upper stages of a Soyuz rocket and a Fregat upper stage being used to launch a MetOp weather satellite into Earth orbit. This launch used an ST-type fairing, seen being jettisoned here to expose the satellite payload. The Fregat upper stage (not yet ignited) will be used to achieve full polar orbit from this suborbital position. The MetOp satellites are a network being developed by EUMETSAT (European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites). The first satellite, MetOp-A, was launched on 19 October 2006. The next ones are planned for 2012 and 2017.
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