Encyclopedia Astronautica
Meteosat



meteosat.jpg
Meteosat
Credit: ESA
European earth weather satellite. 7 launches, 1977.11.23 (Meteosat 1) to 1997.09.02 (Meteosat 7).

European Space Agency weather satellites with the primary goal to provide visible and IR day/night cloud cover data and radiance and disseminate image data to users through the Data Collection Platform (DCP).

Operational geostationary Meteosat satellites followed 3 pre-operational versions (Meteosat-1,-2,-3/P2). Meteosats had a 2.1 m diameter, 3.195 m high stepped cylindrical body with solar cells on six main body panels. The spacecraft was spin-stabilized at 100 rpm around the main axis aligned almost parallel to the Earth's axis with spin regulated by two small hydrazine thrusters. Spin access control and east-west station-keeping was provided by two pairs of large thrusters. Attitude information was provided by Earth horizon and Sun-lit sensors. A radiating dipole antenna directed S-band (333 kbs) transmission of DCP image data to the Data Acquisition, Telemetry, and Tracking Station at Odenwald, Germany for relay to the Meteosat Ground Computer System and Meteosat Operations Control centre at ESA's European Space Operations Centre (ESOC). The Meteosats carried a single imaging radiometer in visible/infrared wavelengths in addition to the Data Collection Platform.

Gross mass: 692 kg (1,525 lb).
First Launch: 1977.11.23.
Last Launch: 1997.09.02.
Number: 7 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Ariane First successful European commercial launch vehicle, developed from L3S Europa launch vehicle replacement design. Development of the Ariane 1 was authorised in July 1973, took eight years, and cost 2 billion 1986 Euros. More...
  • Delta The Delta launch vehicle was America's longest-lived, most reliable, and lowest-cost space launch vehicle. Development began in 1955 and it continued in service in the 21st Century despite numerous candidate replacements. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Delta American orbital launch vehicle. The Delta launch vehicle was America's longest-lived, most reliable, and lowest-cost space launch vehicle. Delta began as Thor, a crash December 1955 program to produce an intermediate range ballistic missile using existing components, which flew thirteen months after go-ahead. Fifteen months after that, a space launch version flew, using an existing upper stage. The addition of solid rocket boosters allowed the Thor core and Able/Delta upper stages to be stretched. Costs were kept down by using first and second-stage rocket engines surplus to the Apollo program in the 1970's. Continuous introduction of new 'existing' technology over the years resulted in an incredible evolution - the payload into a geosynchronous transfer orbit increasing from 68 kg in 1962 to 3810 kg by 2002. Delta survived innumerable attempts to kill the program and replace it with 'more rationale' alternatives. By 2008 nearly 1,000 boosters had flown over a fifty-year career, and cancellation was again announced. More...
  • Delta 2914 American orbital launch vehicle. Four stage vehicle consisting of 9 x Castor 2 + 1 x ELT Thor/RS-27 + 1 x Delta P /TR-201 + 1 x Star 37E More...
  • Ariane French orbital launch vehicle. First successful European commercial launch vehicle, developed from L3S Europa launch vehicle replacement design. Development of the Ariane 1 was authorised in July 1973, took eight years, and cost 2 billion 1986 Euros. More...
  • Ariane 1 French orbital launch vehicle. First version of the Ariane launch vehicle. More...
  • Ariane 44LP French orbital launch vehicle. Ariane 4 with 2 liquid rocket + 2 solid rocket strap-ons. More...
  • Delta 2000 American orbital launch vehicle. The Delta 2000 series used Castor 2 strap-ons together with an Extended Long Tank core equipped with the more powerful RS-27 engine. This engine was derived from surplus H-1 engines intended for the Saturn IB booster of the Apollo programme. The Delta P upper stage was built by Douglas and used surplus Apollo lunar module engines from TRW. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • ESA European agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. European Space Agency, Europe. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Report (Internet Newsletter), Harvard University, Weekly, 1989 to Present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1997. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Meteosat Second Generation , Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Cape Canaveral America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida, located at 29.00 N 79.00 W, and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean. More...
  • Kourou After the agreement with newly independent Algeria for France to evacuate their launch sites in that country, a location near Biscarosse was selected for French missile testing. However since only launches westwards across the Bay of Biscay could be made from this site, it was unsuitable for France's Diamant orbital launch vehicle. After reviewing 14 potential sites, a location in the South American French colony of Guiana was selected. This would allow over-water launches to a tremendous range of possible orbital inclinations -- from -100.5 deg to 1.5 deg. Being near the equator, it would provide the maximum assist from the earth's rotation for launches into equatorial orbits. The decision was formalized in April 1964 and in July 1966 ELDO chose the site for future launches of the Europa II launch vehicle. More...
  • Cape Canaveral LC17A Delta launch complex. Part of a dual launch pad complex built for the Thor ballistic missile program in 1956. Pad 17A supported Thor, Delta, and Delta II launches into the 21st Century. More...

Meteosat Chronology


1977 November 23 - . 01:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 2914. LV Configuration: Delta 2914 620/D136.
  • Meteosat 1 - . Mass: 697 kg (1,536 lb). Nation: Europe. Agency: ESA. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: Meteosat. Completed Operations Date: 1985-06-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 10489 . COSPAR: 1977-108A. Apogee: 35,854 km (22,278 mi). Perigee: 35,777 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 11.9000 deg. Period: 1,437.60 min. European Space Agency satellite. Launch time 0135 GMT. Reached definitive position, 0 deg longitude over the Gulf of Guinea, on 7 December. Launched by United States Delta rocket. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Atlantic Ocean at E-4 deg W in 1977-1981; 8E-12 deg E in 1981-1984; 2E-6 deg E in 1984-1985 As of 29 August 2001 located at 51.23 deg E drifting at 0.354 deg E per day. As of 2007 Mar 3 located at 11.52E drifting at 0.055W degrees per day.

1981 June 19 - . 12:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA1. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 1. LV Configuration: Ariane 1 L03.
  • Meteosat 2 - . Mass: 697 kg (1,536 lb). Nation: Europe. Agency: ESA. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: Meteosat. Completed Operations Date: 1991-12-04 . USAF Sat Cat: 12544 . COSPAR: 1981-057A. Apogee: 36,329 km (22,573 mi). Perigee: 36,124 km (22,446 mi). Inclination: 11.1000 deg. Period: 1,458.60 min. Meteosat 2 is a geostationary meteorological satellite, operating within the world wide network of the World Weather Watch of WMO. Its main missions are: Imaging in the visible, IR and water vapour region of the spectrum; data reception from so-called dat a collection platforms (DCPs); data distribution to meteorological services and other interested parties (research institutes etc). Launch time 1233:03 UT. Geostationary position 0 deg E. Designator ESA/81/03. As of 3 September 2001 located at 58.52 deg W drifting at 5.577 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 125.67W drifting at 5.583W degrees per day.

1988 June 15 - . 11:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 44LP. LV Configuration: Ariane 44LP V22.
  • Meteosat 3 - . Mass: 696 kg (1,534 lb). Nation: Europe. Agency: Eumetsat. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: Meteosat. Completed Operations Date: 1995-11-22 . USAF Sat Cat: 19215 . COSPAR: 1988-051A. Apogee: 36,766 km (22,845 mi). Perigee: 36,723 km (22,818 mi). Inclination: 7.5000 deg. Period: 1,485.30 min. Stationed at 0 deg. Meteosat P2 is a geostationary meteorological satellite operating within the world wide network of the World Weather Watch of the World Meteorological Organization. Its main missions are: Imaging in the visible, IR and water vapour region of the spectrum; data reception from so-called Data Collection Platforms (DCPs); data distribution to meteorological services and other interested parties (research institutes, etc). Geostationary position 0 deg E. ESA designator ESA/88/02. Launch time 1119:33 UT. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 1 deg E in 1988-1989; 49 deg W in 1989; 4 deg W in 1990-1991; 49 deg W in 1991-1993; 75 deg W in 1993-1995; 70 deg W in 1995 As of 5 September 2001 located at 175.17 deg W drifting at 11.970 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 140.75W drifting at 11.975W degrees per day.

1989 March 6 - . 23:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 44LP. LV Configuration: Ariane 44LP V29.
  • Meteosat 4 - . Payload: MOP 1. Mass: 681 kg (1,501 lb). Nation: Europe. Agency: Eumetsat. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: Meteosat. Completed Operations Date: 1995-11-08 . USAF Sat Cat: 19876 . COSPAR: 1989-020B. Apogee: 36,795 km (22,863 mi). Perigee: 36,600 km (22,700 mi). Inclination: 6.5000 deg. Period: 1,482.90 min. Meteosat Operational Program; weather imaging, atmospheric data; 0 deg. Geostationary meteorological satellite, operating within the world-wide network of the World Weather Watch of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Its main missions are: imaging in the visible, infrared and water vapour region of the spectrum. Dat a reception from so called Data Collection Platforms (DCPs); data distribution to meteorological services and other interested parties (research institutes, etc). As of 4 September 2001 located at 98.34 deg W drifting at 11.393 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 21.37E drifting at 11.390W degrees per day.

1991 March 2 - . 23:36 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 44LP. LV Configuration: Ariane 44LP V42.
  • Meteosat 5 - . Payload: MOP 2. Mass: 681 kg (1,501 lb). Nation: Europe. Agency: ESA. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: Meteosat. USAF Sat Cat: 21140 . COSPAR: 1991-015B. Apogee: 35,765 km (22,223 mi). Perigee: 35,758 km (22,218 mi). Inclination: 0.3000 deg. Period: 1,434.90 min. Earth imaging for weather, climatology, atmospheric physics; 4 deg E. Geostationary meteorological satellite, operating within the world-wide network of the World Weather Watch of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Its main missions are: imaging in the visible, infrared and water vapour region of the spectrum. Dat a reception from so called Data Collection Platforms (DCPs); data distribution to meteorological services and other interested parties (research institutes, etc). Launch time 2336:00 UT. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 4 deg W in 1991; 1 deg W in 1991; 4 deg W in 1991-1992; 1 deg W in 1992; 8 deg W in 1993-1997; 9 deg W in 1997-1998; 63 deg E in 1998-1999 As of 5 September 2001 located at 62.77 deg E drifting at 0.000 deg E per day. As of 2007 Mar 1 located at 63.15E drifting at 0.006E degrees per day.

1993 November 20 - . 01:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 44LP. LV Configuration: Ariane 44LP V61.
  • Meteosat 6 - . Payload: MOP 3. Mass: 704 kg (1,552 lb). Nation: Europe. Agency: ESA. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: Meteosat. USAF Sat Cat: 22912 . COSPAR: 1993-073B. Apogee: 35,796 km (22,242 mi). Perigee: 35,776 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 2.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Stationed at 0 deg. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 10 deg W in 1994-1997; deg W in 1997-1998; 9 deg W in 1998-1999 As of 4 September 2001 located at 9.14 deg W drifting at 0.012 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 36.89E drifting at 0.610E degrees per day.

1997 September 2 - . 22:21 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 44LP. LV Configuration: Ariane 44LP V99.
  • Meteosat 7 - . Payload: MTP 1. Nation: Europe. Agency: Eumetsat. Manufacturer: Cannes. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: Meteosat. USAF Sat Cat: 24932 . COSPAR: 1997-049B. Apogee: 35,791 km (22,239 mi). Perigee: 35,779 km (22,231 mi). Inclination: 0.4000 deg. Period: 1,436.00 min. Geosynchronous. Stationed over 10.2W Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 10 deg W in 1997-1998; deg E in 1998-1999 As of 5 September 2001 located at 0.68 deg E drifting at 0.036 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 57.39E drifting at 0.007W degrees per day.

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