Cluster II Mission Validation Review successfully completed
12 January 1999Cluster II has successfully passed the Mission Validation Review which washeld at ESTEC in The Netherlands on 8 December 1998. No major problems or 'show stoppers' were identified.
The nine-person Review Board, which was jointly chaired by the ESA Inspector-General, Professor Massimo Trella, and ESA Science Director Roger Bonnet, examined all aspects of the mission design, particularly the areas which have changed since the original Cluster mission. The Board carefully studied each project element - payload, spacecraft, ground segment, data system and launch vehicle. At the end of the review, the Board certified the compatibility and qualification status of each element.
The Mission Validation Review marked the end of the Cluster II preparation phase, and followed on from a series of previous reviews at project element level which were held during the past few months.
Integration of the first new flight model (FM6) is proceeding according to plan. With the complete payload now installed, the spacecraft will undergo system functional testing early in 1999. Shipping to IABG in Munich, where environmental testing will take place, is scheduled for March 1999.
Integration of FM7 has also started. It will follow the same procedure as its predecessor, with a time lag of about three months. Verification of all units has been successful, including the new solid state data recorder and high power amplifier.