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Science & Exploration

N° 61–1995: Successful launch of Maxus-2

29 November 1995

The Maxus-2 sounding rocket was launched successfully from Esrange at Kiruna, Sweden, on Tuesday 28 November 1995. Lift-off occurred at 10:42 CET in clear weather (after a 24 hour delay due to the malfunctioning of a video feed from the experiment modules). In a flawless flight, the rocket reached an apogee of 705.8 km as expected. The 8 experiments making up the 505 kg payload underwent in microgravity conditions for almost 13 minutes (see ESA press release 56-95 for details of the payload).

All experiments were recovered by helicopter about 1 hour and 20 minutes after the payload has landed by parachute. Qualitative analysis performed after recovery of the experiments shown very good results for all but one experiment (study of Marangoni instability in a multilayer system, which suffered a minor hardware glitch). Complete analysis of the results will be conducted at the home institutes of the scientists concerned over the coming months.

The experiments - all funded by ESA - were supplied by Belgian, German, French and Swiss researchers, with hardware built by Swedish, German and Italian firms.