SOHO team commended for the recovery effort
7 June 1999"2% inspiration, 98% transpiration! A tribute to the dedicated personal efforts of 160 people all over the world" was how Francis Vandenbussche (ESA Recovery Manager) described the SOHO rescue mission, on accepting a Silver ESTEC Medal on behalf of the entire SOHO Recovery Team at a private function at ESTEC last Thursday 27 May.
In recognition of the truly collaborative international nature of the rescue, ESA's Director General, A. Rodotà, presented the special SOHO Recovery certificates to representatives of all the participating groups, from ESA, NASA/GSFC, European and American Industry. "This was not just a technical success. It was due to the people and their will that SOHO was delivered back to the solar science community."
Presenting certificates to the ESA Project Scientist Bernard Fleck, on behalf of the science team, Prof Bonnet recalled, "I'll never forget the enthusiastic messages on the answering machine from you that the instruments were one after the other coming back!" The Principal Investigators of each of the instrument teams received warm congratulations and accepted certificates on behalf of their colleagues from over 10 countries.
Judith Brunner, NASA SOHO programme manager, accepting certificates on behalf of her American colleagues, both in NASA and Industry, spoke of the perseverance and determination of the entire team and expressed her pride in joining and confidence in the team for the future. Her ESA counterpart in the newly created SOHO Programme Office at GSFC, Michel Verdant, was delighted to accept certificates on behalf of the ESA team at GSFC.
"Recovering SOHO was like repairing a car over a million kilometres away, except I've never seen that many people working on my car!" said, John Credland, ESA's Head of Scientific Projects.