The weather satellite MetOp (Meteorological operational polar satellite) was developed by a consortium of European industrial enterprise under guidance of main contractor Astrium. MetOp provides data for medium-term weather forecasts and long-term climate and environmental research. MetOp-A, the first member of a new family of three European satellites designed to monitor the atmosphere from Low Earth Orbit, was launched from Kazakhstan on 19 October 2006. The next two MetOp satellites will be launched at five-year intervals. In total, the programme will be operational for at least 14 years, each satellite having an expected lifetime of five years. Astrium take the total responsibility for the final integration and preparation of starting the three MetOp satellites.
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