Teams at ESA's European Space Operations Centre in Germany have been training for months in preparation for next week's launch of Metop-C - the last in the current series of meteorological satellites that provide high-quality data for weather forecasting and climate monitoring from polar orbit.
As a collaborative undertaking between ESA and EUMETSAT, the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites, ESA is responsible for building the satellites and placing them into orbit, and EUMETSAT for operating them once in orbit, and processing and distributing the data.
The Metop series are improving weather forecasts thanks to their ability, among other features, to gather temperature and humidity profiles from a relatively close 800 km-altitude orbit.
"Flying at low altitudes, these polar-orbiting satellites are able to capture images of our planet in unprecedented detail, and we are delighted to support EUMETSAT in getting them into space," says Paolo Ferri, ESA's Head of Mission Operations.
Metop-C is scheduled to lift off on a Soyuz rocket from Europe's spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, at 00:47 GMT (01:47 CET) on Wednesday, 7 November.