The weather satellite MetOp (Meteorological Operational Polar Satellite) was developed by a consortium of European industrial enterprises 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 second in the series, MetOp-B, was launched on 17 September 2012 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. MetOp-C, the third satellite is to be launched in the 2017 timeframe, from the Guiana Space Centre. In total, the programme will be operational for at least 14 years, each satellite having a design lifetime of five years. Astrium is fully in charge of the final integration and preparation of starting the three MetOp satellites.
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