by Staff Writers
Kourou, French Guiana (ESA) Sep 19, 2011
The first Soyuz to be operated from French Guiana has begun the integration process, marking a major step toward Arianespace's introduction of the workhorse medium-lift vehicle into its launcher family at the Spaceport.
During activity this week, the Soyuz launcher's central core Block A second stage was fitted with one of four strap-on boosters that constitute the Russian-built launcher's first stage.
The horizontal integration is taking place inside a purpose-built Launcher Integration Building at the Spaceport, where Soyuz vehicles will undergo their initial build-up.
Once assembled, they will be rolled out to the launch pad and erected in the vertical position for installation of the upper composite - consisting of Soyuz' Fregat upper stage and the satellite payload.
Liftoff of the historic no. 1 Soyuz from French Guiana is set for October 20 with two European Galileo navigation satellites, and will be followed by a second flight of the Russian launcher at the Spaceport in December.
Launch Pad at Space-Travel.com
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Arianespace to launch BepiColombo spacecraft
Paris, France (SPX) Sep 19, 2011
The European Space Agency (ESA) and Arianespace has announced the signature of a contract for the launch of the BepiColombo spacecraft, designed to explore the planet Mercury. The launch is scheduled for July 2014, using an Ariane 5 ECA launcher from the Guiana Space Center, Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana. BepiColombo is a joint scientific mission led by ESA in conjunction with the Ja ... read more
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