Cluster's last stand?
Lockwood, M. (1997) Cluster's last stand? Astronomy & Geophysics, 38 (1). pp. 21-25. ISSN 1366-8781
To link to this article DOI: 10.1093/astrog/38.1.21
On 4 June last year the first attempt to make three-dimensional measurements in space was lost when the Ariane 5 rocket veered off course and self-destructed, 39 s into its maiden flight. On board were four identical spacecraft which made up Cluster,a mission that the European Space Agency called a “cornerstone” of its Horizon 2000 scientific programme. A full description of the Cluster satellites is given in a special issue of Space Science Reviews (Escoubet et al. 1997). Their loss dealt a devastating blow to the Cluster scientists and to those working on other missions and projects planned to interact with Cluster. Many discoveries have been made during the 15 years in which Cluster progressed from an idea to the state-of-the-art satellites that were on top of Ariane 501 on 4 June. However, these discoveries invariably underline rather than undermine the importance of Cluster. Now plans to recover the unique and exciting research that was to be done using Cluster are well advanced.