Launch of the first weather satellite (1977)

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Thursday, 23 November 2017

1977 -

All this effort, just so we know what to wear tomorrow morning... The first weather satellite was launched on November 23th in the year 1977, the beginning of a new satellite-era. The satellite was named Meteosat-1. In the following years, eleven different Meteosat satellites have been sent into the atmosphere.

The Meteosat-1 was launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida and was able to measure the weather situations of more than one hundred countries. It provided a scope over most parts in Europe, the whole of Africa, the Middle East and half of South America. All Meteosat satellites were built by the European agency for meteorological satellite operational services, named ESA and EUMETSAT.

The end of Meteosat-1
Despite off all effort, the first Meteosat satellite was only used for two years, until November 1979. They quit using the satellite because it failed in sending the right weather images that were needed for a proper weather forecast. It took ESA another two years to build and send a new satellite into space. This second satellite was called Meteosat-2 and operated a bit longer, until 1988. The next generation Meteosat satellites, the Meteosat Third Generation, will be launched in 2021.

Trivial fact
The first rockets were invented by the Chinese. They did so already somewhere around the year 1200, because they wanted to launch fireworks. This technique was later used to rescue people at sea, before it was used to build- and send rockets into the atmosphere.


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