Meteosat Second Generation
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.
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.
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.
09 July 2015
Ground control teams are ready to shepherd Europe's next weather satellite through its critical first days in orbit, ensuring it is working and healthy in the harsh environment of space.
Facts and Figures