Tag Archives: cluster

On 17 March 2015, Spacecraft Operations Manager Bruno Sousa (standing, looking up) and the Cluster flight control team watched closely as the Cluster-1 satellite performed a 17-minute orbital correction manoeuvre. The team operates the four-satellite Cluster mission from ESA’s Space Operations Centre, ESOC, Darmstadt, Germany. Credit: ESA

Out of limits

How are all important metrics clearly recognizable (and actionable) even in stressful or dangerous situations? - Frederic Hemberger via Twitter

Cluster satellites study the effects of solar wind. Credit: ESA

Come back from the dark side

Cluster spacecraft 3 and 4 went through a Moon eclipse this morning at around 06:00z (08:00 CET). In both cases, the eclipse lasted on the order of 30 minutes.

We can monitor in real time the progress of operations from anywhere! Credit: ESA/B. Sousa

Kitchen pantry operations

This being a Sunday, I was at home playing with my kids, initially oblivious of what was actually happening at ESOC.

Earth seen from Cluster's Samba spacecraft on 18 Feb 2016 via the low-resolution VMC webcam. Credit: ESA

Cluster spots Earth!

Update from Cluster Spacecraft Operations Manager Bruno Sousa. It is my pleasure to share with you the first images of the Earth seen from one of our four Cluster satellites, Samba. We acquired them last night –...

We were expecting only black photos but then this creeps in - see the top-left corner in the field of view Credit: ESA


Editor’s note: Today’s blog post, contributed by Cluster Spacecraft Operations Manager Bruno Sousa, reports on a terrific initiative coming from the Cluster mission team at ESOC. They’ve checked out, tested and are re-commissioning the mission’s two Visual...


Under Spacecraft Operations Manager Bruno Sousa, the ESA Cluster team posted a series of tweets that describe in 140 characters or less the entire process of flying their mission.

ESA’s Cluster satellites make closest-ever ‘...

We received a nice note last week from ESA’s Jürgen Volpp, the Spacecraft Operations Manager (SOM) for the Cluster mission at ESOC. Cluster is probably the most successful scientific mission you’ve never heard of! Launched in July and August 2000 in two dual launches, the mission comprises a fleet of four satellites orbiting in tight formation to investigate the small-scale structure of Earth’s plasma environment. The four sats – Cluster 1 (Rumba), Cluster 2 (Salsa), Cluster 3 (Samba) and Cluster 4 (Tango) – have been collecting the most detailed data yet on small-scale changes in near-Earth space and the interaction between the charged particles of the solar wind and Earth’s atmosphere, enabling...