Dutch satellite launched with ESA rocket
14 February 2005, AMSTERDAM — A European Space Agency (ESA) rocket carrying a Dutch-made satellite was successfully launched in French Guiana on Saturday.
14 February 2005
AMSTERDAM — A European Space Agency (ESA) rocket carrying a Dutch-made satellite was successfully launched in French Guiana on Saturday.
Built by the Dutch Agency for Aerospace Programmes (NIVR), the experimental Sloshsat Flevo satellite was one of three payloads the Ariane 5 rocket was carrying into space.
The mini-satellite will investigate fluid physics in microgravity to understand how propellant-tank sloshing affects spacecraft control. Its mission is planned to last 10 days.
The unmanned rocket also carried an XTAR-EUR telecommunications satellite to be used by national governments for secure communication purposes and testing equipment to determine how the rocket performed.
Saturday's successful launch comes after the first Ariane 5 rocket exploded three minutes after take-off in December 2002, forcing ESA to adjust its design. Some EUR 400 million in equipment was destroyed in the blast.
But due to the success of the launch of the re-designed Ariane rocket, ESA said starting from the second flight scheduled for mid-year, Ariane 5 ECA (the redesigned rocket) will become the new European workhorse for lifting heavy payloads to geostationary orbit and beyond.
"Less than one month after the descent of Huygens on Titan, this launch marks another great achievement for Europe in space and a further demonstration of European skills in this highly demanding technological field" ESA Director-General Jean-Jacques Dordain said.
"Today’s success is also just reward for all the people, in industry and at agencies all over Europe, who have been working so hard to bring this launcher back into operational use.
"Guaranteed access to space is a pre-requisite for our success in all space activities and so it is our duty to maintain this capacity to the full."
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news