Whole Object Name
EURECA Diamond Mission Patch
EURECA (European Retrievable Carrier) was a European Space Agency (ESA) mission designed to return to Earth to study the effects of the space environment on the spacecraft and its payload. It was launched by Space Shuttle Atlantis on 31 July 1992 and deployed from the Shuttle on 2 August 1992 using the Canadarm. Then EURECA performed a burn to raise its orbit to an operational altitude of 508 kilometres, where it began its scientific mission on 7 August 1992.
EURECA carried 15 experiments, including the Timeband Capture Cell Experiment (TICCE) which was developed in the United Kingdom. TICCE studied the population distributions of tiny particles, such as Earth debris, micrometeoroids, and cosmic dust, in low Earth orbit.
EURECA was retrieved after eleven months in orbit and brought back to Earth by the Space Shuttle Endeavour during the STS-57 mission. It is one of the few un-crewed space vehicles that have been returned to Earth unharmed. Scientist were able to study how exposure to space had affected the structure of the spacecraft and its experiments. EURECA was designed to fly five times with different experiments, but the following flights were cancelled. The spacecraft was placed on display in the Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne.