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Europe’s MTG satellite to debut in 2017

Paris, France: The European Space Agency (ESA) signed a contract with Thales Alenia Space for developing the new Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) family of satellites. Europe’s next fleet of meteorological satellites is set to debut in 2017.
Following on from Meteosat Second Generation, MTG is a cooperative venture between Eumetsat and ESA, and will ensure continuity of high-resolution meteorological data to beyond 2037.
The cooperation on meteorological missions between Eumetsat and ESA is a success story that started with the first Meteosat satellite in 1977 and continues today with Meteosat Second Generation and the polar-orbiting MetOp series.
The new series will comprise six satellites: four MTG-I imaging and two MTG-S sounding satellites.
The first two prototype satellites are scheduled for launch in late 2017 and mid-2019, respectively. Both satellites will be positioned in geostationary orbit above the equator at a longitude between 10ºE and 10ºW.
In addition to the advanced imaging capabilities offered by the Flexible Combined Imager, the satellites will offer an all-new infrared sounding capability and imaging of global lightning that will provide early warning of severe storms.
MTG-S will also carry the Sentinel-4 payload for the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) programme. This advanced payload will analyse atmospheric chemistry and identify concentrations of trace gases like ozone and nitrogen dioxide.  
The MTG mission will also provide continued support to global search and rescue monitoring, as well as supporting the Advanced Data Collection System.
Source: ESA