Invitation to the media – Viewing of the European meteorological satellite MTG-I before its launch in Cannes


Journalists will have a rare opportunity to see the first of Europe’s latest generation weather satellites, the third-generation Meteosat imager, MTG-I 1, in the clean room of prime contractor Thales Alenia Space in Cannes, France, on Wednesday September 7, 2022.

During the tour program, recorded media can take photos of the impressive space hardware in the clean room area before it is prepared to be shipped to Kourou for launch. Senior Earth Observation experts from ESA, Thales Alenia Space (TAS), Eumetsat and others are available on site for interviews.

Media visit program
(Only with prior registration and authorization by TAS Security)

09:30 – Check-in at CAS Cannes

10h00-12h00 – Management presentations and presentations by senior experts, including:

  • Massimo Comparini: SVP Observation Exploration Navigation Thales Alenia Space (to be confirmed)
  • Simonetta Cheli: Director of Earth Observation Programs at ESA
  • Cristian Bank: Director of Program Preparation and Development at Eumetsat
  • Paul Blythe: ESA MTG Program Manager, ESA Earth Observation Programs

And more senior executives from Eumetsat, Météo-France, TAS, Leonardo and OHB.
This will be followed by a Q&A session with the media and individual interviews.

14:00-16:00 – Group visits to TAS clean rooms in Cannes

European weather satellites background

MTG is a cooperation between ESA and Eumetsat. ESA is responsible for defining and implementing the MTG satellites and recurring hardware procurement, while Eumetsat is in charge of operating the spacecraft throughout its lifetime .

After the success of the first and second generations of European Meteosat meteorological satellites, Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) will soon take over to provide data continuity from geostationary orbit, 36,000 km above the Earth.

The combination of MTG’s increased resolution imagery data and state-of-the-art sounding products will take weather forecasting capabilities to the next level, especially for the difficult task of nowcasting.

Nowcasting is concerned with the monitoring and forecasting, in near real time, of rapidly changing and potentially damaging weather phenomena, such as severe thunderstorms. Earlier detection of such phenomena will increase the reaction time available to issue severe weather warnings and implement the necessary measures to avoid potentially catastrophic impacts.

To meet the 20-plus-year operational lifetime of the mission, the complete MTG system comprises six satellites, four imaging satellites (MTG-I) and two sounding satellites (MTG-S). Now is the time to launch the first MTG-I satellite, MTG-I 1.

This new satellite is equipped with a flexible combined imager to provide a complete image of the Earth every 10 minutes to monitor and forecast the weather. It can zoom in to provide images of selected regions, which is essential for issuing timely warnings relevant to air traffic safety.

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About the European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space.

ESA is an intergovernmental organization, established in 1975, whose mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and to ensure that investments in space benefit the citizens of Europe and the world.

ESA has 22 member states: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden , Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Slovenia, Latvia and Lithuania are associate members.

ESA has established formal cooperation with five EU Member States. Canada participates in certain ESA programs under a cooperation agreement.

By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programs and activities far beyond the reach of a single European country. It works in particular with the EU for the implementation of the Galileo and Copernicus programs as well as with Eumetsat for the development of meteorological missions.

Learn more about ESA at

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