Inizia la costruzione del complesso di lancio per Soyuz a Kourou

Aaron Lewis, Director of Media and Government Relations
Arianespace, Inc.
601 13th St. NW 710 North
Washington D.C. 20005

+1 (202) 628-3936 (main)
+1 (202) 628-3949 (fax)

Kourou, February 26 2007

Official opening of the Soyuz launch base construction site in French Guiana

The construction site of the Soyuz launch base in French Guiana was
officially opened today by Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA Director General,
Yannick d’Escatha, President of CNES, Jean-Yves Le Gall, Director General of
Arianespace, and Anatoly Perminov, Head of Roscosmos. The ceremony took
place in the presence of many French authorities and representatives of all
the European and Russian entities contributing to the startup of the

On this occasion, a commemorative plaque was unveiled and a stone from the
Baikonur launch pad from which the cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin took off in 1961
was deposited on the site. This stone is a powerful symbol of the continuity
between the Russian launch site, which saw the start of the space age with
Sputnik followed by the first human space flight, and the setting-up of a
Soyuz launch operation in French Guiana. The arrival of Soyuz marks the
culmination of 40 years of space cooperation between France and Russia, a
decade of industrial cooperation in the Starsem framework, and the
longstanding cooperation between ESA and Russia’s Federal Space Agency

Soyuz, renowned for its legendary exploits in space exploration, has been
launched 1718 times so far, thus demonstrating both its robustness and
reliability. It has to date placed 1661 satellites in orbit around the Earth
and sent 91 Russian and 40 non-Russian cosmonauts into space.

Launching Soyuz from the Guiana Space Centre (CSG) will make it possible to
use French Guiana’s equatorial position to significantly increase the
launcher’s lift capability. After an inaugural flight at the end of 2008,
Soyuz will launch communication satellites into geostationary orbit,
navigation satellites forming part of the European Galileo constellation,
Earth observation satellites into polar orbit, and interplanetary probes.
Soyuz at the CSG, alongside the Ariane-5 heavy-lift launcher and Europe’s
small Vega launcher, will harmoniously complete the range of ESA launchers.
Their exploitation is handled by Arianespace, which will be able to offer
launch services for all types of mission.

This project is being co-funded by ESA, the European Union and Arianespace
and carried out with CNES as system prime contractor, in the framework of an
ESA programme. Although the site is being officially opened today,
excavation work was begun several months ago by the French firm VINCI with
the help of numerous European and local firms; the first Russian teams are
due to arrive at Sinnamary between now and the end of the year to build the
launch and functional support infrastructure for the launch pad.

As Jean-Jacques Dordain, Director General of the European Space Agency,
said: “We are entering a new era for launchers for Europe, which is the
positive outcome of good cooperation between ESA and Russia, initiated by
France, and which will enhance the launch flexibility offered by

Yannik d’Escatha, President of CNES, observed that: “The continuous
relationship developed in the space domain between France and Russia over
the last 40 years and its extension to cooperation on launchers as from 1996
has led today to this tremendous joint project between Europe and Russia:
Soyuz at the CSG. With the construction work on this launch site at the
Guiana Space Centre, Europe’s Spaceport, the link that has been developed
will now be very much a tangible one on French territory, for ESA, for
decades to come.”

As Anatoly Perminov, Head of Roscosmos, put it: “We can clearly see today
that the most ambitious projects, such as this construction of the Soyuz
launch pad at the CSG, cannot be carried out by a single entity. It is only
through the joint efforts of Europe, Russia and France that such a bold
ambition is becoming a tangible reality before our very eyes. This mutually
beneficial cooperation provides a guarantee that the future exploration of
space can only be for peaceful purposes and that it will always be in line
with the aspirations of humanity at large.”

Jean-Yves Le Gall, Chief Executive Officer of Arianespace, said that: “Soyuz
at the CSG is a new phase in the amazing undertaking begun 10 years ago by
Europe and Russia within Starsem. Soyuz at the CSG will be a great asset for
Arianespace’s commercial strategy and will greatly benefit our customers,
our shareholders and our partners.”

Un piccolo sasso per un uomo (vedi immagine precedente),
un grande passo per il programma spaziale europeo.


Non sarebbe fantastico costruire un padiglione di lancio su una pietra proveniente dal pad di Gagarin ed una da quello di Glenn…e magari lanciare da lì l’Aries? :wink:

Non sarebbe fantastico costruire un padiglione di lancio su una pietra proveniente dal pad di Gagarin ed una da quello di Glenn...e magari lanciare da lì l'Aries? :wink:

Molto evocativo…
Sarebbe davvero una scelta simbolica! :smiley:

Si. Direi che sarebbe un’operazione molto ad effetto, soprattutto per noi europei.