ESA A Spot

European Space Agency (ESA)


ESA is a key partner in the development of satellites required by EUMETSAT's mandatory programmes and in the European Copernicus Programme.

ESA A Spot
ESA A Spot

The European Space Agency (ESA) and EUMETSAT have a long-standing relationship.

Last Updated

13 October 2023

Published on

09 April 2020

The Meteosat geostationary satellite programme began in the 1970s as an ESA programme. When the Meteosat satellites had demonstrated their operational capacities, EUMETSAT was created to take over and develop operational satellite meteorological programmes in Europe.

Since then, EUMETSAT and ESA have worked closely on the development of EUMETSAT’s Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) and the EUMETSAT Polar System (EPS) programmes. That cooperation has continued on the Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) and EUMETSAT Polar System - Second Generation (EPS-SG) programmes and will be extended through the potential future EUMETSAT programmes, EPS-Aeolus and EPS-Sterna.

The observations from the MTG and EPS-SG programmes will complement future satellite missions expected between 2025 and 2040.

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How we work together

Under the terms of an agreement reached between the agencies, ESA is responsible for the development of the space segment (the satellites) of EUMETSAT programmes, and EUMETSAT is responsible for the overall system (for example, launch services, the ground segment and satellites operations).

As a general rule, ESA funds a major part of the development costs of the first satellite of a new series. EUMETSAT financially contributes a fixed share of the first satellite’s development costs and fully funds the costs of the recurrent satellites in the series, the launch services and the operations of all the satellites, including the ground segment development.

ESA and EUMETSAT also collaborate in the European Union’s Copernicus programme. ESA and EUMETSAT are the European partners of the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) and the Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellites (CGMS).

For more information, please visit the ESA website.

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