Following the failure of flight 501 (see the joint ESA/CNES press release of 5 June 1996), Mr Jean-Marie Luton, the Director General of ESA and Mr Alain Bensoussan, Chairman of CNES have decided :
1.to strengthen the investigative powers of the Launcher Qualification Review (RQL) for all launcher elements, and in particular set up specialised audits,
2.the setting up of an Enquiry Board with the following terms of reference : - to determine the causes of the launch failure,
- to investigate whether the qualification tests and acceptance tests were appropriate in relation to the problem encountered,
- to recommend corrective action to remove the causes of the anomaly and other possible weaknesses of the systems found to be at fault.
The Board will have the following members:
- Prof. Jacques-Louis Lions (Chairman), Academie des Sciences (France)
- Dr Lennart Luebeck(Vice-Chairman),Swedish Space Corporation (Sweden)
- Mr Jean-Luc Fauquembergue, Delegation Generale pour l'Armement (France)
- Mr Gilles Kahn, Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique (INRIA), (France)
- Prof. Dr. Ing. Wolfgang Kubbat, Technical University of Darmstadt (Germany)
- Dr. Ing. Stefan Levedag, Daimler Benz Aerospace (Germany)
- Dr. Ing. Leonardo Mazzini, Alenia Spazio (Italy)
- Mr Didier Merle, Thomson CSF (France)
- Dr Colin O'Halloran, Defense Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA), (U.K.)
The Board which will have access to all industrial teams and to all the documents and hardware needed for the enquiry, will be assisted by a Technical Advisory Committee. It will deliver a report in mid-July.