Europe's Cluster-2 Mission Gets Go-Ahead

PARIS--The European Space Agency's (ESA's) science program committee late last week approved a reincarnation of the Cluster-2 mission, four satellites that are to study Earth's magnetosphere. The original Cluster mission was lost in June when its launcher blew up shortly after launch.

ESA's science panel endorsed the $262 million Cluster-2 mission, which will be rebuilt and launched by the year 2000. "There is unanimity that Cluster should fly as a complete mission," says ESA spokesperson Simon Vermeer. ESA will make a final decision on the mission in February.