MetOp satellites circle the Earth in a nearly polar, sun-synchronous orbit just over 500 miles (800 kilometers) above Earth. In this type of orbit, the satellite is constantly exposed to sunlight as it circles between Earth's north and south poles.
The 1st MetOp Launch
The Soyuz rocket that launched MetOp-A in 2006 is erected on the launchpad at the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
MetOp-A, the first of the three MetOp satellites, is shown in the clean room ahead of its launch in October 2006.
MetOp-A is about to be encapsulated in its payload fairing before launch.
The MetOp satellites are each about as big as a bus.
MetOp-B's payload module is ready to be encapsulated into its payload fairing ahead of its launch in 2006.
This was the last view of the MetOp-B satellite before it was stuffed into its payload fairing and launched into space.
MetOp-B Lifts Off!
The second satellite in the MetOp series, MetOp-B, launched on Sept. 17, 2012, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.