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ArianeSpace Buys 10 Soyuz Rockets For Kourou Spaceport

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by Staff Writers
Sochi, Russia (SPX) Sep 22, 2008
Russia's space agency and French satellite launch firm Arianespace signed a contract on Saturday to launch 10 Russian Soyuz-ST carrier rockets from the Kourou space center in French Guiana.

The contract was signed by Russian Federal Space Agency head Anatoly Perminov and Arianespace Chairman and CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall after a session of a bilateral inter-governmental commission, which took place on the sidelines of the investment forum under way in Russia's Black Sea resort Sochi.

"The contract envisions the purchase of ten Soyuz carrier rockets to be launched from the space center in Guiana... The contract is estimated at a total of $300-$400 million," Le Gall said adding that the first launch is scheduled for late 2009.

The Kourou launch site is intended mainly for the launch of geostationary satellites. Its proximity to the equator will enable the Soyuz-ST to put into orbit heavier satellites than from Baikonur in Kazakhstan and Plesetsk in northern Russia.

Under a contract signed in June with Arianespace, the Soyuz will have a separate launch pad near Sinnamari, a village 10 kilometers (6 miles) north of the site used for the Ariane-5, the main European-made booster.

Launches of Soyuz spacecraft are the key part of the Russian-French program of cooperation in space exploration.

Le Gall said three or four Soyuz boosters are planned to be launched annually as of 2010.

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Telesat Launches Nimiq 4 Broadcast Satellite
Baikonur, Kazakhstan (SPX) Sep 22, 2008
Telesat, the world's fourth largest fixed satellite services operator, has successfully launched its state-of-the-art Nimiq 4 satellite.

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