Metop-A de-orbiting has begun

The process of taking Metop-A, Europe's first polar-orbiting meteorological satellite, out of service began yesterday. From user's point of view, this means that there won't be new Metop-A data anymore.

The process of removing the satellite from its orbit, known as deorbiting, begins with a series of manoeuvres that will be conducted over the next ten days. The satellite will be lowered so that its point of orbit closest to the Earth is decreased from 817 km to 580 km. After so-called backflip manoeuvre, the satellite will be left to spiral downward in progressively lower orbits until it disintegrates upon re-entering the Earth's atmosphere.

More detailed information of Metop-A deorbiting process is available from EUMETSAT.