Separation of Tango and Rumba
Date: 09 August 2000
The 430 gramme Visual Monitoring Camera (VMC) attached to the base of FM5 (Rumba) sent back the first colour pictures ever taken from space as two unmanned satellites separated and drifted apart from each other.
About three hours after launch, when the pair of Cluster spacecraft had successfully separated from the Fregat upper stage, the mini-camera transmitted back to Earth a series of 27 colour images taken 3 seconds apart showing the Tango spacecraft (FM8) separating, whilst spinning against the background of the blue and white Earth and the black void of deep space.
Last Update: 1 September 2019