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Very first image delivered by MSG2 weather satellite

24 January 2006

The MSG2 satellite, launched on December 21 and now positioned at 6.5 degrees West, has transmitted yesterday at 3:00 pm GMT its very first image. MSG2 satellite was built by an Alcatel Alenia Space-led European team.

Weighting around 2 tons at launch and with a design life of seven years, the satellite reached its temporary orbital position a few days later. Satellite and system acceptance tests started early January and will last about 6 months.

MSG2 is fitted with 12 imaging channels, and will deliver an image every 15 minutes in the visible, infrared and water vapor wavelengths. The new generation of satellites MSG (Meteosat Second Generation) largely outpaces that of its predecessors, carrying on the World Weather Watch and establishing Europe as a world leader in Earth observation from geostationary orbit.

Alcatel Alenia Space has been the prime contractor for all European geostationary weather satellites built to date, including seven first-generation models, already launched, and four second-generation satellites now already launched or under construction. MSG1 was launched and is operational in orbit since 2002.

About Alcatel Alenia Space
Alcatel Alenia Space is the European leader in satellite systems, at the forefront of orbit infrastructures. Created in July 2005, the company brings together the vast experience and know-how of Alcatel Space and Alenia Spazio to form a new leading force in European space technology. Alcatel Alenia Space represents a worldwide standard for space development that impacts everybody's future: from navigation to telecommunications, from meteorology to environmental monitoring, from defence to science and observation. Alcatel Alenia Space is an affiliate of Alcatel (Paris: CGEP.PA and NYSE: ALA) (67%) and Finmeccanica (Milan:SIFI.MI, FNC.IM) (33%).

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