On Aug. 7, 2012, the Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (SEVIRI) instrument on Europe's MSG-3 geostationary satellite captured its first image of Earth.
The European Space Agency (ESA) was responsible for the initial operations after MSG-3's launch and handed over the satellite to EUMETSAT on July 16. The first image is a joint achievement by ESA, EUMETSAT and the European space industry.
For its mandatory programs, EUMETSAT relies on ESA for the development of new satellites and the procurement of recurrent satellites like MSG-3. This cooperation model has made Europe a world leader in satellite meteorology by making best use of the respective expertise of the two agencies.
MSG-3 is the third in a series of four satellites introduced in 2002. These spin-stabilized satellites carry the primary SEVIRI instrument. The prime contractor for the MSG satellites is Thales Alenia Space, with the SEVIRI instrument built by Astrium.
The MSG satellites were built in Cannes, France, by a European industrial team led by Thales Alenia Space, France. More than 50 subcontractors from 13 European countries are involved. The last of the series, MSG-4, is planned for launch in 2015.
Image courtesy of Eumetsat.