ESA's weather satellite MSG-3 has smoothly traveled 36 000 km above the Equator. The satellite is now nearly in its geostationary orbit, drifting slowly east toward its final orbit position. With MSG-3 healthy and now in its place of work, ESA has handed operations over to Eumetsat, the European Organisation for Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites, who then commissions the payload and carries out routine operations. When fully operational, Eumetsat will rename MSG-3 as Meteosat-10. Meteosat-10 joins its predecessor Meteosat-9 to keep a constant watch on developing weather systems.
The third Meteosat Second Generation satellite took to the skies on an Ariane 5 rocket on 5 July from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Once fully operational, it will deliver essential information from geostationary orbit to monitor the weather over Europe, Africa and parts of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. ESA is responsible for developing the series of satellites and performing the critical Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP) on behalf of Eumetsat.