The Starsem launch of MetOp-B has been delayed by several weeks.
Originally scheduled for May 23, Starsem has been informed by Russia’s Roscosmos space agency that additional measures are needed to ensure the drop zone availability for Soyuz’ stages after the vehicle’s liftoff from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The MetOp-B spacecraft remains in Starsem's payload preparation facilities at Baikonur Cosmodrome, and has been placed under maximum security conditions.
A new launch date will be announced as soon as possible.
MetOp-B is the second in a series of meteorological spacecraft to be operated by EUMETSAT (the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites), providing continuous weather observations until 2020. After being deployed in polar orbit by the Soyuz vehicle, it will join the nearly identical MetOp-A spacecraft – which was launched in October 2006 by Starsem on another Soyuz mission from Baikonur Cosmodrome.