Officials from the European Space Agency (ESA) announce that four of the instruments aboard their newly-launched MetOp-B satellite have been turned on this week, and that the first science data are already pouring in.
The spacecraft was launched aboard a Russian-built Soyuz ST Fregat medium rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, in Kazakhstan, on September 17. Since then, it has been undergoing orbital testing and commissioning at EUMETSAT.
The Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT), the Microwave Humidity Sounder (MHS), the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit-A (AMSU-A) and the Global Navigation Satellite System Receiver for Atmospheric Sounding (GRAS) have already delivered their first science data.
EUMETSAT, the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites, took command of the spacecraft from ESA on September 21.