Home > Agencies & Organisations, ESA (European Space Agency), Soyuz, Spaceflight, Unmanned Spaceflight > Countdown to Europe’s first Soyuz launch under way

Countdown to Europe’s first Soyuz launch under way


Credits: ESA - S. Corvaja, 2011

Credits: ESA - S. Corvaja, 2011

The clock is ticking for the first Soyuz flight from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. The rocket, which will carry the first two satellites of Europe’s Galileo navigation system into orbit, is being prepared for launch on 20 October.

Final assembly began on 12 September of the three-stage Soyuz ST-B, consisting of four first-stage boosters clustered around the core second stage, topped off by the third stage.

The Launcher Flight Readiness Review in July gave the green light to begin assembling the rocket.

The campaign began on 16 August in the assembly and testing building – known by its original ‘MIK’ Russian acronym – with electrical and mechanical tests of the upgraded, reignitable Fregat-MT upper stage. It will carry an additional 900 kg of propellants for its double-satellite load.

Full Story: http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMS693UNSG_index_0.html

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