23:01 GMT +314 November 2018
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    A picture taken on December 17, 2015 shows a Soyuz rocket blasting off from the European space centre at Kourou, French Guiana

    WATCH: Soyuz-ST With MetOp-C Satellite Blasts Off From Guiana Space Port

    © AFP 2018 / Jody AMIET
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    PARIS (Sputnik) - The launch took place at 9.47 p.m. local time on Tuesday (00:47 GMT on Wednesday) and was broadcasted on the website of the space center's operator Arianespace.

    MetOp-C is the third and last satellite of the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT). MetOp satellites are needed to predict weather for the period from 12 hours to 10 days.

    The first and second satellites of this series, MetOp-A and MetOp-B, were launched in 2006 and 2012, respectively. Both "meteorological stations" have been successfully operating in orbit since their launches and make a large contribution to reducing errors in weather forecasts. MetOp-C is expected to further improve the quality of weather forecasts.

    This was the third launch of the Soyuz family rocket after the Soyuz-FG failed launch on October 11. Prior to this, the Soyuz vehicles have been launched twice from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome on October 25 with a military satellite and on November 3 with the Glonass-M navigation satellite.

    On October 11, the Soyuz-FG launch vehicle failed to take the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft with the new crew of the International Space Station (ISS) into space. Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and NASA astronaut Nick Hague managed to eject in a rescue capsule and make an emergency landing in Kazakhstan unharmed. This became the first failure of a manned space launch in modern Russian history.

    The probe revealed that the crash of the Soyuz-FG carrier was caused by malfunctioning of the detector that signals separation of the rocket's first and second stages. Last week, Russia's space agency Roscosmos said that two Soyuz rockets at the Baikonur and Kourou (GSC) spaceports would be dismantled and rechecked to avoid similar failures. On Tuesday, Roscosmos said Russian experts had found no problems with the detectors of the Soyuz-ST rocket (Soyuz-2) in the Kouru spaceport.

    Another launch of the Soyuz-ST rocket with the Fregat-MT unit and the CSO 1 spacecraft (Composante Spatiale Optique-1) from the Kourou spaceport is scheduled for December 14.

    READ MORE: French Gendarmerie Chief Under Fire Over Comparing Guiana Citizens to Animals

    Related:

    Soyuz-ST Takes Observation Satellite to Orbit
    RUSSIAN SOYUZ-ST CARRIER ROCKET LIFTS OFF FROM KOUROU SPACE CENTER
    Tags:
    launch, Kourou Space Center in French Guiana, MetOp-C, Soyuz-ST, European Space Agency (ESA), Roscosmos, France, French Guiana, Russia
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