CANNES, France — The six-satellite Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) program — the biggest satellite construction contract ever signed by the European Space Agency (ESA) — is running more than two years late and 12% over budget following issues with its cryogenic coolers and micro-vibrations.

The first series of two imaging and one sounding satellite now are scheduled to be launched starting in late 2021, with the identical series launched around 10 years later.

The contract signed in February 2012 was valued at about 1.5 billion . . .

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