Encyclopedia Astronautica
Cluster 2



cluster2.jpg
Cluster 2
European earth magnetosphere satellite. 4 launches, 2000.07.16 (Samba) to 2000.08.09 (Tango).

The original Cluster mission and the Solar Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) together comprised the Solar Terrestrial Science Program (STSP), the first 'Cornerstone' of ESA's Horizons 2000 Program. These two missions were selected at the same time to investigate the relation between the Sun and the Earth's environment. After its successful launch in December 1995 SOHO provided new information on the effect of the Sun and the solar wind on the Earth's magnetosphere. Following the loss of the original design Cluster spacecraft in June 1996, the approval of the Cluster II mission meant that the STSP objectives could be fulfilled.

The goals of the Cluster II mission were identical to those of the original Cluster and the instrument complement remained the same. Cluster II mission was to conduct an in-situ investigation of the Earth's magnetosphere using four identical spacecraft simultaneously. It was to permit the accurate determination of three-dimensional and time-varying phenomena and make it possible to distinguish between spatial and temporal variations.

Cluster II's main goal was to study the small-scale plasma structures in space and time in the key plasma regions: the solar wind and bow shock; magnetopause; polar cusp; magnetotail; and auroral zone.

The Cluster II spacecraft was basically cylindrical with enormous booms. In the centre was a cylinder with an aluminum honeycomb structure covered with a skin of carbon-fiber reinforced plastic. The equipment panel inside this cylinder supported the main engine, two high-pressure fuel tanks and other parts of the propulsion system.

Six spherical fuel tanks made from titanium were attached to the outside of this central cylinder. Most of the fuel would be consumed soon after launch, during the complex maneuvers required to reach operational orbit. Each spacecraft also carried eight thrusters for smaller changes of orbit.

Around the central cylinder was the main equipment platform. It consisted of an aluminum-skinned honeycomb panel, which was reinforced by an outer aluminum ring. Most of the subsystems, such as the power and computer processing hardware, were attached to its lower surface, while the science experiments were placed on top. Electrical power was provided by six curved solar panels attached around the outside of the platform. Five silver/cadmium batteries were used for power supply during the four-hour-long eclipses when the spacecraft enter Earth's shadow.

Various rod-shaped booms opened out once the satellite reached orbit. They included two single-hinged antennae for communications and two five-meter, double-hinged booms on the satellite's upper surface which carried sensors which would otherwise be disturbed by the spacecraft. There were also four 50-metre-long wire booms which deployed radially when the spacecraft began to spin. These measured changing electrical fields around each spacecraft.

Characteristics

Electric System: 0.224 average kW.

AKA: Cluster II.
Gross mass: 1,200 kg (2,600 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 550 kg (1,210 lb).
Payload: 71 kg (156 lb).
Height: 1.30 m (4.20 ft).
First Launch: 2000.07.16.
Last Launch: 2000.08.09.
Number: 4 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Soyuz The Russian Soyuz spacecraft has been the longest-lived, most adaptable, and most successful manned spacecraft design. In production for fifty years, more than 240 have been built and flown on a wide range of missions. The design will remain in use with the international space station well into the 21st century, providing the only manned access to the station after the retirement of the shuttle in 2011. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Soyuz Russian orbital launch vehicle. The world's first ICBM became the most often used and most reliable launch vehicle in history. The original core+four strap-on booster missile had a small third stage added to produce the Vostok launch vehicle, with a payload of 5 metric tons. Addition of a larger third stage produced the Voskhod/Soyuz vehicle, with a payload over 6 metric tons. Using this with a fourth stage, the resulting Molniya booster placed communications satellites and early lunar and planetary probes in higher energy trajectories. By the year 2000 over 1,628 had been launched with an unmatched success rate of 97.5% for production models. Improved models providing commercial launch services for international customers entered service in the new millenium, and a new launch pad at Kourou was to be inaugurated in 2009. It appeared that the R-7 could easily still be in service 70 years after its first launch. More...
  • Soyuz 11A511U Russian standardised man-rated orbital launch vehicle derived from the original R-7 ICBM of 1957. It has been launched in greater numbers than any orbital launch vehicle in history. Not coincidentally, it has been the most reliable as well. After over 40 years service in Russia, ESA built a new launch pad at Kourou which will keep it in service from three launch sites in three countries well into the mid-21st Century. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • ESA European agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. European Space Agency, Europe. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA/GSFC Orbital Information Group Website, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Space-Launcher.com, Orbital Report News Agency. Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Baikonur Russia's largest cosmodrome, the only one used for manned launches and with facilities for the larger Proton, N1, and Energia launch vehicles. The spaceport ended up on foreign soil after the break-up of Soviet Union. The official designations NIIP-5 and GIK-5 are used in official Soviet histories. It was also universally referred to as Tyuratam by both Soviet military staff and engineers, and the US intelligence agencies. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union the Russian Federation has insisted on continued use of the old Soviet 'public' name of Baikonur. In its Kazakh (Kazak) version this is rendered Baykonur. More...

Cluster 2 Chronology


2000 July 16 - . 12:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U. LV Configuration: Soyuz 11A511U/Fregat A15000-069 ST09.
  • Samba - . Payload: Cluster 2-FM6. Mass: 1,200 kg (2,600 lb). Nation: Europe. Agency: ESA. Manufacturer: Friedrichshafen. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Cluster 2. USAF Sat Cat: 26410 . COSPAR: 2000-041A. Apogee: 116,279 km (72,252 mi). Perigee: 21,449 km (13,327 mi). Inclination: 88.5000 deg. Period: 3,423.40 min. The first two European Space Agency Cluster II satellites, Samba (FM7) and Salsa (FM6) were launched into an initial 200 km / 64.8 deg circular orbit. The Fregat upper stage then burned once before ejecting the satellites into a 250 x 18072 km x 64.7 deg transfer orbit. Both satellites then used their Astrium (former MBB) S400 liquid engines in a series of four additional burns before reaching their final 16869 x 121098 km x 90.6 deg orbits. Each magnetosphere research satellite deployed four 50-meter wire antennas.
  • Salsa - . Mass: 1,200 kg (2,600 lb). Nation: Europe. Agency: ESA. Manufacturer: Friedrichshafen. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Cluster 2. USAF Sat Cat: 26411 . COSPAR: 2000-041B. Apogee: 116,294 km (72,261 mi). Perigee: 21,430 km (13,310 mi). Inclination: 88.6000 deg. Period: 3,423.20 min.

2000 August 9 - . 11:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U. LV Configuration: Soyuz 11A511U/Fregat A15000-070 ST10.
  • Rumba - . Mass: 1,200 kg (2,600 lb). Nation: Europe. Agency: ESA. Manufacturer: Friedrichshafen. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Cluster 2. USAF Sat Cat: 26463 . COSPAR: 2000-045A. Apogee: 116,297 km (72,263 mi). Perigee: 21,430 km (13,310 mi). Inclination: 88.5000 deg. Period: 3,423.30 min.
  • Tango - . Mass: 1,200 kg (2,600 lb). Nation: Europe. Agency: ESA. Manufacturer: Friedrichshafen. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Cluster 2. USAF Sat Cat: 26464 . COSPAR: 2000-045B. Apogee: 116,300 km (72,200 mi). Perigee: 21,430 km (13,310 mi). Inclination: 88.5000 deg. Period: 3,423.40 min. Rumba and Tango were the second pair of Cluster II magnetospheric research satellites of the European Space Agency. A series of five burns of the Fregat stage took them from an initial 190 km / 64.8 degree parking orbit to their final 17,200 x 120,600 km orbits inclined 90 degrees to the equator. They then separated from the Fregat and took up operations.

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