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Cluster 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Cluster [ESA]

Cluster is an magnetospheric research project, consisting of a constellation of four identical satellites. Part of the first Cornerstone Mission in the European Space Agency's long-term space science programme, the Cluster II satellites were built to replace the original Cluster mission, which was aborted after Ariane-5G's maiden flight in June 1996 failed to launch the satellites. The mission's objective is to research the Earth's magnetosphere and its interaction with the solar winds, via four identical satellites flying in formation which take simultaneous measurements to provide the most detailed three-dimensional study of changes and processes taking place in near-Earth space. The four satellites were launched in 2000 on two Soyuz-U Fregat rockets.

Astrium was lead industrial contractor for the development and manufacture of the Cluster II satellites, heading a team of European aerospace indsutry partners from 14 European countries.

Each satellite features 11 instruments:

  • FGM: Fluxgate Magnetometer
  • EDI: Electron Drift Instrument
  • ASPOC: Active Spacecraft Potential Control experiment
  • STAFF: Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Field Fluctuation  experiment
  • EFW: Electric Field and Wave experiment
  • DWP: Digital Wave Processing experiment
  • WHISPER: Waves of High frequency and Sounder for Probing of Electron density by Relaxation experiment
  • WBD: Wide Band Data instrument
  • PEACE: Plasma Electron And Current Experiment
  • CIS: Cluster Ion Spectrometry experiment
  • RAPID: Research with Adaptive Particle Imaging Detectors
Nation: Europe
Type / Application: Magnetospheric Research
Operator: ESA
Contractors: Dornier (#1 - 4), Astrium (#5 - 8)
Equipment: FGM, EDI, ASPOC, STAFF, EFW, DWP, WHISPER, WBD, PEACE, CIS, RAPID
Configuration: Cylinder, spin stabilized
Propulsion: S400 engine
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Lifetime:
Mass: 1200 kg
Orbit: 17200 × 120600 km, 90 (Transferorbit (#5-8): 250 km × 18072 km × 64.7)
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Cluster FM1 1996-F03 04.06.1996 Ko ELA-3 F Ariane-5G with Cluster FM2, Cluster FM3, Cluster FM4
Cluster FM2 1996-F03 04.06.1996 Ko ELA-3 F Ariane-5G with Cluster FM1, Cluster FM3, Cluster FM4
Cluster FM3 1996-F03 04.06.1996 Ko ELA-3 F Ariane-5G with Cluster FM1, Cluster FM2, Cluster FM4
Cluster FM4 1996-F03 04.06.1996 Ko ELA-3 F Ariane-5G with Cluster FM1, Cluster FM2, Cluster FM3
Cluster FM5 (Rumba) 2000-045A 09.08.2000 TB LC-31/6 Soyuz-U Fregat with Cluster FM8
Cluster FM6 (Salsa) 2000-041B 16.07.2000 TB LC-31/6 Soyuz-U Fregat with Cluster FM7
Cluster FM7 (Samba) 2000-041A 16.07.2000 TB LC-31/6 Soyuz-U Fregat with Cluster FM6
Cluster FM8 (Tango) 2000-045B 09.08.2000 TB LC-31 Soyuz-U Fregat with Cluster FM5
Further ISTP missions: