Stevenage space engineers wave goodbye to weather satellite – next stop Earth orbit

An artist's view of how Aeolus will look in space. Photo: P. Carril, European Space Agency

An artist's view of how Aeolus will look in space. Photo: P. Carril, European Space Agency - Credit: Archant

A state-of-the-art satellite which measures wind speeds is set to leave Stevenage for the final time.

How the Mars rover might look on the surface of Mars.

How the Mars rover might look on the surface of Mars. - Credit: Archant

The Aeolus satellite – named after Aeolus, who in Greek mythology, was appointed ‘keeper of the winds’ by the Gods, took ten years to build at Airbus Defence and Space in the town, is being shipped to France for final testing.

It will be launched into Earth orbit later this year, and it’s hoped it will help predict how the world’s weather will be forecast in the future.

It will be the first satellite to measure wind speeds across the whole planet and generate 100 wind profiles an hour and will increase our understanding of global weather and climate change.

The satellite will be launched by French space company Arianespace SA.

It will leave the Gunnels Wood Road base in the next few days.