Meteosat-7’s last image, taken on 31 March 2017
On 3 April 2017 at 21:25 CET, the thrusters started firing, the first in a week of manoeuvres that will take the satellite to its ultimate resting place in graveyard orbit, about 300km above the geostationary ring.
More information on the “graveyard orbit” and how Meteosat-7 will get there, can be found in the EUMETSAT Science Blog . Keep an eye on the EUMETSAT Science Blog and website for updates on this event.
Meteosat-7 is the last of the first generation Meteosats, geostationary weather satellites that shaped the success story of satellite meteorology in Europe. Modern weather forecasting began 40 years ago, with the launch of Meteosat-1. In 2016, when the EC approved the Space Strategy for Europe, it recognised the Meteosat programme as a key European success story.
With almost 20 years in orbit, Meteosat-7 also has had the longest operational lifetime of any European meteorological satellite.
Meteosat-7 Facts and Figures
Meteosat-7 (launched on 2 September 1997) was developed under the Meteosat Transition Programme (MTP). It was designed to fill the gap between the Meteosat Operational Programme (encompassing Meteosat-4 to -6) and the first satellite of the second generation, Meteosat-8 (launched on 28 August 2002).
The satellite provided the prime 0° longitude Full Earth Scan Service from 3 June 1998 until it was replaced by Meteosat-8 on 16 May 2006. On 11 July 2006, Meteosat-7 moved to the Indian Ocean where it arrived on 10 October 2006. It became the prime provider of the Indian Ocean Data Coverage (IODC) Service at 57.5° East on 5 December 2006 until 1 February 2017, when Meteosat-8 took over.