Update #2: Please see updated EUMETSAT foreseen timeline below for Metop-A which now includes Search and Rescue (SARSAT) in row 5.


Update #1: Please see updated EUMETSAT foreseen timeline below for Metop-A.


Topic: Metop-A end of life


Date/Time Issued: July 26, 2021 1027 UTC


Product(s) or Data Impacted: All Metop-A Products 


Date/Time of Initial Impact:  September  6, 2021 at 00 UTC


Date/Time of Expected End: N/A


Length of Outage:   N/A


Details/Specifics of Change: 


Metop-A satellite launched on 19 October 2006 and is operating well beyond its design lifetime of five years.  NOAA has been notified that due to thermal constraints and ensuring spacecraft and orbit environment safety, EUMETSAT intends to decommission the satellite and begin de-orbiting Metop-A starting in September 2021. This decommission/de-orbit effort will be in full compliance with internationally agreed upon space debris mitigation guidance, and will ensure safe decommissioning while the spacecraft is in a power positive state and is thermally stable.


The EUMETSAT foreseen timeline is as follows:



Technology Test Campaign III starts (possible outages, announced  through UNS message)

6th September 2021 

IASI end of all mission services (Global, regional and local): IASI data  and products no longer available for the user community. 

15th October 2021 

End of regional mission for all instruments (EARS discontinuation) 

15th October 2021 

Technology Test Campaign IV starts (possible outages, announced  through UNS message) 

15th October 2021 


Search and Rescue (SARSAT) end of all mission services*

11th November 2021


End of local mission for all instruments (HRPT switch off ) 

15th November 2021 


End of global mission for ALL remaining instruments and services:  Metop-A data and products no longer available for the user community. 

15th November 2021 


Metop-A deorbiting starts 

15th November 2021 

Technology Test data delivery stops (for CNES and   through NOAA  gateway) 

27th November 2021 


Metop-A payload module is switched off 

27th November 2021 


XTTC & Fairbanks support timeline 

27th November 2021  – 

1st December 2021


Metop-A deorbiting is completed 

1st December 2021

*After this date Search and Rescue (SARSAT) will be in a test configuration on the redundant side until it is switched off on November 15. Therefore from November 11-15, 2021 the instrument will generate non-nominal data (that is not to be used by the users).


Note: All dates are tentative planned dates and will be confirmed in the near term. 



Contact Information for Further Information: ESPC Operations at ESPCOperations@noaa.gov and 301-817-3880 or SPSD.Userservices@noaa.gov 


Web Site(s) for applicable information: https://www.eumetsat.int/plans-metop-end-life

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