Encyclopedia Astronautica
Cluster


European earth magnetosphere satellite. 4 launches, 1996.06.04 (Cluster F4) to (Cluster F4). The Cluster satellites were a series of sophisticated earth-observation platforms that were to be launched aboard the first Ariane 5.

The explosion of the booster led to a costly setback for European space science. There were no back-up spacecraft. Some instruments may fly on other future satellites.

First Launch: 1996.06.04.
Number: 4 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Ariane 5 The Ariane 5 was a completely new design, unrelated to the earlier Ariane 1 to 4. It consisted of a single-engine Lox/LH2 core stage flanked by two solid rocket boosters. Preparatory work began in 1984. Full scale development began in 1988 and cost $ 8 billion. The design was sized for the Hermes manned spaceplane, later cancelled. This resulted in the booster being a bit too large for the main commercial payload, geosynchronous communications satellites. As a result, development of an uprated version capable of launching two such satellites at a time was funded in 2000. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Ariane 5 French orbital launch vehicle. The Ariane 5 was a completely new design, unrelated to the earlier Ariane 1 to 4. It consisted of a single-engine Lox/LH2 core stage flanked by two solid rocket boosters. Preparatory work began in 1984. Full scale development began in 1988 and cost $ 8 billion. The design was sized for the Hermes manned spaceplane, later cancelled. This resulted in the booster being a bit too large for the main commercial payload, geosynchronous communications satellites. As a result, development of an uprated version capable of launching two such satellites at a time was funded in 2000. More...
  • Ariane 5G French orbital launch vehicle. Initial version of the Ariane 5, a bit too large for the main commercial geosynchronous communications satellite payloads. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Report (Internet Newsletter), Harvard University, Weekly, 1989 to Present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report,
  • NASA Report, Cluster II, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Fact Sheet Cluster II Spacecraft to Explore Earth's Turbulent Magnetic Environs, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Cluster II Mission-Rising from the Ashes, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Cluster-II: Scientific Objectives and Data, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Cluster Fact Sheet, Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Kourou After the agreement with newly independent Algeria for France to evacuate their launch sites in that country, a location near Biscarosse was selected for French missile testing. However since only launches westwards across the Bay of Biscay could be made from this site, it was unsuitable for France's Diamant orbital launch vehicle. After reviewing 14 potential sites, a location in the South American French colony of Guiana was selected. This would allow over-water launches to a tremendous range of possible orbital inclinations -- from -100.5 deg to 1.5 deg. Being near the equator, it would provide the maximum assist from the earth's rotation for launches into equatorial orbits. The decision was formalized in April 1964 and in July 1966 ELDO chose the site for future launches of the Europa II launch vehicle. More...

Cluster Chronology


1996 June 4 - . 12:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA3. LV Family: Ariane 5. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 5G. LV Configuration: Ariane 5G V88 (501). FAILURE: Vehicle went off course and was destroyed by range safety. Reuse of flight software from Ariane 4 was the cause (faulty program logic that only took effect on Ariane 5 launch trajectory).. Failed Stage: G.
  • Cluster F1 - . Nation: Europe. Agency: ESA. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Cluster. COSPAR: F960604A. The Cluster satellites were a series of sophisticated earth-observation platforms that were to be launched aboard the first Ariane 5. The explosion of the booster led to a costly setback for European space science. There were no back-up spacecraft. Some instruments may fly on other future satellites.
  • Cluster F3 - . Nation: Europe. Agency: ESA. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Cluster. COSPAR: F960604C.
  • Cluster F4 - . Nation: Europe. Agency: ESA. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Cluster. COSPAR: F960604D.
  • Cluster F2 - . Nation: Europe. Agency: ESA. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Cluster. COSPAR: F960604B.

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