On Saturday 15
July at 12:40 hrs GMT, Cluster II is to be launched from the Baikonour
rocket base in Kazakhstan.

A Russian Soyuz launcher put two identical solar research
satellites into polar elliptical orbit with altitudes ranging from 19
000 to 119 000 km. The European Space Agency (ESA), in which Sweden is
one of the 15 participating countries, has initiated and is leading
this unique solar research experiment.

Saab Ericsson Space in Goteborg, Sweden is responsible for the
satellites’ antennas and harness, and the separation system that
releases and rejects the satellites away from the launch vehicle at
the desired altitude. Austrian Aerospace, a subsidiary of Saab
Ericsson Space, has developed the satellites’ thermal hardware. A
total of four satellites are included in the Cluster II experiment.
The remaining two will be launched on 9 August, also from the
Baikonour base in Kazakhstan.

Cluster II is part of a larger international program whose task is
to study the interactions of the Sun and Earth. The satellites will be
part of a cluster of satellites from several different countries,
including the previously launched ESA/NASA SOHO satellite, among
others, monitoring the Sun and the high-speed solar wind of charged
particles, consisting mainly of electrons and protons that are blasted
from the surface of the Sun into space.

The Cluster II satellites will pass through the Earth’s magnetic
field over a period of two years to complete the most detailed
investigation to date on how the Sun and Earth interact. They are
equipped with a number of instruments for making various measurements
of charged particles and electrical and magnetic fields. Swedish
scientists have participated in the development of the instruments.

Saab Ericsson Space is an independent supplier of space equipment.
The company develops and manufactures computers, antenna systems,
microwave electronics, guidance and separation systems for launch
vehicles, satellites and other spacecraft, and is world market leader
in a number of its product areas.

The headquarters are located in Goteborg. The company has a
division at Saab in Linkoping and subsidiaries in Austria and the USA.
Employees number 650 and more than half of them hold master’s or
doctor’s degrees in engineering.

The company is owned by Saab and Ericsson.

Ericsson is the leading communications supplier, combining
innovation in mobility and Internet in creating the new era of Mobile
Internet. Ericsson provides total solutions covering everything from
systems and applications to mobile phones and other communications