UK confirms funding for Metop project

The UK IS to invest $45 million in the European Space Agency's (ESA) Metop meteorological polar-orbiting-satellite programme.

The proposed $2.5 billion Metop system, to be operated from 2003 by Eumetsat, the European meteorological-satellite organisation, has been stalled by political and budgetary difficulties.

The building of the first of three Metop satellites by Matra Marconi Space has been delayed and the programme is some two years late. The main problem has been lack of commitment from some ESA countries, particularly France, even though Eumetsat members will fund about 75% of the project.

The UK hopes that confirmation of its investment will spur others to back the project.

Source: Flight International