The first "B" model of the next generation polar orbiting weather satellite series MetOp-SG has received its rocket pack.
In a tricky, millimetre-precise crane operation at Airbus’ satellite integration centre in Friedrichshafen (Germany), the six metre high satellite structure was integrated with its propulsion system.
The propulsion system, built by Airbus in Stevenage (United Kingdom), can accommodate 760 kg of hydrazine fuel to maintain the satellite’s attitude and orbit throughout its mission and, very importantly, enable a controlled re-entry over the South Pacific at the end of the satellite's mission, in accordance with the international space debris mitigation standards. The propulsion system includes twelve thrusters of 20 Newton (N) each for nominal orbit and anti-collision manoeuvres. Finally, the tank and the 400N main engine complete the propulsion system.
The MetOp-SG programme is being implemented by the European Space Agency in collaboration with EUMETSAT. The MetOp-SG satellite fleet consists of six satellites and will secure the continuation of meteorological observations from a polar orbit in the 2024-2045 timeframe. Comprehensive data from the suite of innovative European instruments will feed into forecasting models taking observations to a new standard.
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