NASA Logo, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive Header




METOP (Meteorological Operational) is Europe's first polar-orbiting operational meteorological satellite. It is the European contribution to the Initial Joint Polar System (IJPS), a co-operative agreement between Eumetsat and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to provide data for climate and environmental monitoring and improved weather forecasting. The first Metop satellite will be launched in 2005, with the other two following at five-year intervals. In total, the programmes will be operational for at least 14 years.

The Metop system will deliver valuable information on the atmosphere, land masses and sea surfaces for about 14 years – both during the day and at night. The satellites' main task is to measure the temperature and humidity of the atmosphere, but they will also observe clouds, measure the wind speed on the sea surface and monitor the ozone content of the atmosphere. Metop will also be able to collect data from ground and sea-based measuring stations and transmit rescue signals.

Alternate Names

  • 38771
  • Meteorological Operational (METOP)

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 2012-09-17
Launch Vehicle: Soyuz-2.1a
Launch Site: Tyuratam (Baikonur Cosmodrome), Kazakhstan
Mass: 4424 kg

Funding Agency

  • EUMETSAT (International)


  • Earth Science

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office

[] NASA Logo -