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April 6th, 2017

Meteosat-7 to Go to Final Resting Place... Shaped the Success Story of Satellite Meteorology

On 3 April at 21:25 CET, the thrusters started firing, the first in a week of maneuvers that will take the satellite to its ultimate resting place in graveyard orbit, about 300km above the geostationary ring.

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 (launched on 2 September 1997) was developed under the Meteosat Transition Programme (MTP).  It was designed to fill the gap between the Meteosat Operational Program (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 degrees 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 degrees East on 5 December 2006 until 1 February 2017, when Meteosat-8 took over.  http://www.eumetsat.int/website/home/News/DAT_3430008.html?lang=EN&pState=1