MetOp-B Launch Postponed

Eumetsat and the European Space Agency (ESA) have been informed by the launch service provider, Starsem, that the launch of the MetOp-B satellite by a Soyuz rocket, scheduled for 23 May from Baikonur, had to be postponed. This is due to additional measures required to ensure the availability of safe drop zones for parts of the launcher after lift-off.

The launch has been postponed for some weeks, until appropriate measures are implemented. It is expected to take place in the second half of July, after the launch of the geostationary MSG-3 spacecraft, which is scheduled for 19 June from CSG, Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.

The MetOp-B satellite is the second of three polar orbiting MetOp satellites procured on behalf of Eumetsat by ESA from a European industrial consortium led by Astrium. The satellite also includes instruments delivered by the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from the United States. The MetOp satellites form the space segment of the Eumetsat Polar System.

After successful completion of all planned tests by ESA and industry, the MetOp-B satellite will be kept in a safe environment in the Starsem facilities in Baikonur, ready to be fuelled.

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Source: European Space Agency (ESA)
Date: Apr 29, 2012