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The Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) consists of a series of four geostationary meteorological satellites, along with ground-based infrastructure, that will operate consecutively until 2020. The MSG satellites carry an impressive pair of instruments - the Spinning Enhanced Visible and InfraRed Imager (SEVIRI), which has the capacity to observe the Earth in 12 spectral channels and provide image data which is core to operational forecasting needs, and the Geostationary Earth Radiation Budget (GERB) instrument supporting climate studies.

For almost 30 years ESA has been building Europe's orbital weather satellites: the Meteosat series of geostationary spacecraft, the first of which was launched in 1977. The success of the early Meteosats led to the creation of the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) in 1986.

ESA was responsible for designing and developing the first MSG satellite, and for procuring the other three on behalf of EUMETSAT. Meanwhile EUMETSAT has responsibility for defining the payload based on user needs, procuring the ground segment and launchers, and operating the system.

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MSG-4 delivers first image

04 August 2015

Today, the Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager instrument on MSG-4 captured its first image of Earth. This demonstrates that Europe's latest geostationary weather satellite, launched on 15 July, is performing well and is on its way to becoming fully operational when needed after six months of commissioning.

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ESA hands over control of the MSG-4 weather satellite

27 July 2015

On 26 July at 09:30 GMT (11:30 CEST), ESA handed control of Europe's last Meteosat Second Generation weather satellite, MSG-4, to EUMETSAT.

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Europe's MSG-4 weather satellite delivered into orbit

15 July 2015

The last weather satellite in Europe's highly successful Meteosat Second Generation series lifted off on an Ariane 5 launcher at 21:42 GMT (23:42 CEST) on 15 July from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

Minimize Facts and Figures
Facts and figures
Operators EUMETSAT
Date of Launch MSG-1/Meteosat-8: 28 August 2002
MSG-2/Meteosat-9: 21 December 2005
MSG-3/Meteosat-10: 05 July 2012
MSG-4: 15 July 2015

Meteosat-8: Operating nominally
Meteosat-9: Operating nominally
Meteosat-10: Operating nominally

Orbit Height 35,800 km
Orbit Type Geostationary
Repeat Cycle 15 minutes
  • SEVIRI: 1 km
Onboard Sensors
  • SEVIRI (Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager)
    • SEVIRI PFM aboard Meteosat-8
    • SEVIRI PFM2 aboard Meteosat-9
    • SEVIRI PFM3 aboard MSG-3
    • SEVIRI PFM4 aboard MSG-4
  • GERB (Geostationary Earth Radiation Budget)
  • MCP (Mission Communication Payload)
  • Search and Rescue Transponder