Oldies & Oddities: Zeppo’s Gizmo
- By Nick D’Alto
- Air & Space magazine, September 2008
(Page 2 of 2)
When the European Space Agency’s four Cluster satellites (which study Earth’s magnetosphere), unofficially dubbed Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Zeppo (and a spare named for Gummo), were launched in 2000, ground controllers were doubtless unaware how much their mission depended on the work of a real Marx Brother. To fit inside their launch vehicle, each identical Cluster satellite mated to its brother (an aerospace first) with a Marman-type closure. Once in space these fittings burst, releasing the orbiting formation of four to whirl around Earth.