International collaboration launches weather satellite

By on September 19, 2012
Artist's concept of the MetOp-B satellite. (Credit: ESA/Eumetsat)

A new weather monitoring satellite launched this week thanks to collaboration from several nations, according to a NASA news release.

The satellite carries five new environmental monitoring instruments developed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. The technology was funded by the National Ocean and Atmospheric Association.

Crews at the Astrium in Friedrchshafen, Germany helped install the finished instruments on the European Meteorological Operational satellite. The instruments were vacuum tested in Holland and installed on their transporting rocket in France. The Russian Soyuz rocket took the MetOp-B into space from Kazakhstan.

The instruments attached to the MetOp-B satellite will enable short- and long-term meteorological forecasts, according to the release. It will also give scientists more information for climate modeling.

The combination of sensors will fully profile atmospheric conditions. They will also offer visual data on surface precipitation, vegetation, clouds, pollution, smoke plumes and many other factors. One sensor on board is dedicated to monitoring space weather.

Image: Artist’s concept of the MetOp-B satellite. (Credit: ESA/Eumetsat)

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