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Type: Research satellite
Country: EuropeEurope Europe
Operator: European space agencyESA ESA
COSPAR-ID : 1992-049B
Mission dates
Dimensions: 4491 kg
Begin: July 31, 1992, 13:56:48 UTC
Starting place: Kennedy Space Center , LC-39B
Launcher: Space Shuttle Atlantis
Status: Out of service
Orbit data
Rotation time : 94.6 min
Orbit inclination : 28.5 °
Apogee height 509 km
Perigee height 484 km

EURECA ( Eu ropean Re trievable Ca rrier ; German  " European traceable carrier " ) was a by prime contractor MBB-ERNO in Bremen -made research satellite . It was deployed during the 1992 space shuttle mission STS-46 and operated at an altitude of approximately 500 km. A year later it was recaptured by STS-57 and brought back to Earth. EURECA weighed 4491 kg and provided an electrical output of 1.5 kW. The payload was 1 t and consisted of 71 experiments.

A special feature was the modular structure composed of GRP struts and ball heads, a variant of the reusable satellite platform SPAS developed by MBB-ERNO.

During the stay in orbit, experiments on microgravity , solar observations and material research were carried out. In addition, a wide-angle camera and an instrument for observing high - energy X-rays were on board. The RIT - ion engine RITA-10 from MBB / EADS was tested for the first time in space. EURECA also established a Ka-band connection to the experimental communications satellite Olympus .

Although the satellite was designed for at least five missions, EURECA only completed one mission.

EURECA is one of the few original spacecraft that has been preserved in a museum. In 2000, the satellite was donated by ESA to the Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne, where it has since been exhibited in the Aerospace Hall.

In August 2016, the satellite was transferred to the Federal Materials Testing and Research Institute . He was x-rayed there for almost 4 weeks in order to examine the effects of months of extreme radiation and temperature on the material.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. EURECA in the Encyclopedia Astronautica , accessed on July 4, 2012 (English).
  2. EURECA 1 in the NSSDCA Master Catalog , accessed on July 4, 2012 (English).
  3. Research on the research satellite , NZZ, August 10, 2016