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 lastest meteorological #satellite, MetOp-C, will soon liftoff🚀— ESA Operations (@esaoperations) 31 октября 2018 г.
1-hr later, teams @ESA's #MainControlRoom🕹️will assume control, & during the risky first 3 days in space, will welcome the satellite to its new home, before handing over to @Eumetsat
More: https://t.co/yL9cHKgmJR pic.twitter.com/iaGYQtZCQY
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.