|Cluster 1 mission
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
On 4 June 1996, the Ariane 5 rocket carrying the first four Cluster spacecraft exploded 37 seconds after launch. The Cluster mission to study the Earth's magnetosphere was delayed for four years while the spacecraft were rebuilt.
Some of the pieces of the original spacecraft live in my new lab at Imperial College. The damage an exploding rocket can do to a fairly sturdy electronics box is pretty impressive.
Sections of the experiment boom with ruined shielding & electronics box
this will sound so naff...but thats SO cool!!
No no, that was the whole idea. This isn't a technical thing, it's all about, "Whoa, look what the 'splosion did!"
If that isn't the basis of some awesome sculptures, I don't know what is...
Yeah, you'd have to make models, though, as I doubt anyone here is likely to be willing to part with these bits.
2006-11-22 16:57 (UTC)
I'm a little astounded that it's even recognizable.
Especially if you watch the video
of the explosion. I guess the shielding between the payload and the fuel tanks is pretty good, and the booms that the experiments were mounted on were retracted inside the spacecraft at the time, so that might have protected them as well.
I love the fact that you're allowed to *touch it*! go*d, I love getting behind the velvet rope.
(And in case that's a smutty reference I'm unaware of, I'm referencing the rope They keep folks herded behind at museums & galleries).
Only if I wash my hands afterwards. ;-) The parts have been cleaned but aviation fuel is nasty stuff.
Those are some sharp edges! Plus, aviation fuel, ew.
Mmmmmmmmmmm... 'splody bits.
Oh yeah. They're pretty cool. Apparently some of the bits were intact enough to be re-used in the second Cluster mission, which is pretty amazing.