Rocket failure


  • Michael Carlowicz


The Cluster mission to study the Earth's magnetosphere ended just 40 seconds after it began on June 4, as flight controllers were forced to destroy the Ariane V rocket carrying the four spacecraft. With the rocket veering from its trajectory and in danger of crashing to Earth, launch officials from the European Space Agency (ESA) blew up the rocket by remote control as it rose just 4,000 meters over its launch site in French Guiana.