Rumba, Salsa, Samba, Tango prepare to dance In space!
16 July 2000The winner of ESA's "Name The Cluster Quartet" competition was announced yesterday, during a special media event at the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany.
After a prolonged, exhaustive examination of more than 5,000 entries from all 15 ESA member states, the winning entry was selected from a shortlist recommended by the international jury.
The lucky overall winner was Raymond Cotton, a civil servant from Bristol in the UK. Raymond's winning names for the individual Cluster satellites were:
FM 5 - Rumba
FM 6 - Salsa
FM 7 - Samba
FM 8 - Tango
Mr Cotton was presented with a model of the four Cluster spacecraft by Martin Huber, Head of the Space Science Department of ESA.
"I am very surprised and pleased," said Mr Cotton. "We thought of these names because my wife and I both like ballroom dancing, and they seemed to fit with the movement of the satellites through space. The names are also international and will be recognised in any country."
"The launch countdown today was very tense," he added. "It was obviously disappointing when it was postponed, but we shall be back tomorrow to see it lift-off."
Meanwhile, another member of Raymond's family is watching events with particular interest.
"My oldest son, Andrew, intends to study astrophysics at university next year, so this gives him a good insight into what he intends to do," said Raymond.