European Retrievable Carrier (EURECA)

The European Retrievable Carrier (EURECA) was an unmanned 4.5 tonne satellite with 15 experiments. It was an ESA mission and the acronym was derived from Archimedes' bathtub revelation; Eureka!.
It was built by the German MBB-ERNO and had automatic material science cells as well as small telescopes for Solar observation (including x-ray).
It was launched 31 July 1992 by STS-46 - Atlantis, and put into an orbit at an altitude of 508 km. EURECA was retrieved on 1 July 1993 by STS-57- Endeavour and returned to Earth. It was designed to fly five times with different experiments but the following flights were cancelled.
EURECA is one of the few unmanned space vehicles that have been returned to the Earth unharmed. EURECA has been on display at the Swiss Transport Museum in Lucerne since 2000.

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