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Scientists Ponder New Cluster Mission and Uncertain Future

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Science  28 Jun 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5270, pp. 1866-1867
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5270.1866


At two emotional meetings last week, Europe's space scientists debated how best to salvage the Cluster mission to study the Earth's magnetosphere, which was destroyed when Europe's first Ariane 5 launcher veered off course earlier this month. Delegates faced the prospect of compromising other prized missions if they are to salvage Cluster's scientific objectives. To compound their troubles, scientists fear that a proposed internal reorganization at the European Space Agency may see the popular science directorate disbanded all together.