October 31, 2018

Next Soyuz mission from CSG to launch MetOp-C with France’s IASI instrument

On the night of 6-7 November, Soyuz will lift off for the 19th time from Europe’s spaceport at the Guiana Space Centre (CSG) carrying MetOp-C (Meteorological Operational Polar satellite) with the French IASI instrument (Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer). MetOp-C was built by Airbus Defence & Space for Eumetsat, the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites. This will be Soyuz’s second launch from the CSG this year and the third and last satellite launch for the Eumetsat Polar System (EPS) dedicated to operational meteorology.

The MetOp satellites are essential for numerical weather prediction from ranges of 12 hours out to 10 days. The still-operational MetOp-A and MetOp-B satellites today make the single biggest contribution to reducing errors in weather forecasts.

With a total launch mass of 4,084 kilograms, MetOp-C will be placed into a polar orbit at an altitude of 811 kilometres. It is carrying the IASI instrument built by Thales Alenia Space with technical oversight from CNES in partnership with Eumetsat. In addition to acquiring temperature and humidity data, this French instrument measures more than 25 atmospheric constituents with a high degree of precision and is thus playing a key role in climate monitoring. IASI instruments are already flying on the MetOp-A and MetOp-B satellites launched by the European Space Agency (ESA) and Eumetsat in 2006 and 2012. MetOp-C’s expected lifetime is five years.

The Soyuz launch will be carried live on
 https://iasi.cnes.fr/en/live via YouTube

Check out the photos of the VS19 flight campaign at the Guiana Space Centre at

Pascale Bresson    Press Officer    Tel: +33 (0)1 44 76 75 39    pascale.bresson@cnes.fr
Raphaël Sart          Press Officer    Tel: +33 (0)1 44 76 74 51     raphael.sart@cnes.fr