The four spacecraft of ESA’s Cluster fleet have reached their greatest distance from each other in the course of their mission to study Earth’s magnetosphere in three dimensions.
This operation, marking the fifth anniversary of Cluster in space, transforms Cluster in the first ‘multi-scale’ mission ever. In one of the most complex manoeuvres ever conducted by ESA spacecraft, three of the spacecraft were separated to 10 000 kilometres from each other, with the fourth spacecraft at 1000 kilometres from the third one.
This new fleet formation for Cluster was achieved in two months of operations. The repositioning of the satellites was started by mission controllers at ESAs European Space Operations Centre (ESOC), in Darmstadt, Germany, on 26 May, and was run until 14 July.
Hermann Opgenoorth | alfa
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