CERISE (Characterisation de l'Environment Radio-electrique par un Instrument Spatial Embarque) was an experimental ELINT (electronic intelligence) microsatellite built for the French arms procurement agency DGA (Delegation Generale pour l'Armement). It is notable for having suffered the first accidental collision between two independent orbiting objects. On July 21, 1995, a piece of debris from the Ariane 1 third stage that launched SPOT 1 in 1986 collided with CERISE. During the impact, the upper portion of CERISE's gravity-gradient boom was broken off. It was subsequently catalogued as space object 1995-033E. See also France in space.


launch date Jul. 7, 1995
launch vehicle Ariane 5
site Kourou
orbit 666 × 675 km × 98.1°
size 60 × 35 × 35 cm
mass 50 kg