Soyuz to go west in 2010

For the past 40 years, Russia’s cosmodromes in Baikonur and Plestesk have been home to the Samara Space Center’s Soyuz launcher, but from next year, South America will play host to the world’s most frequently launched rocket.

In July 2010, the flight of a Soyuz 2-1a from French Guiana will be the first use of a Russian rocket outside European Russia or a former Soviet state. French Guiana was studied as a Soyuz launch site in the 1990s.Its equatorial location enables the rocket to place 3,000kg (6,600lb)into geostationary orbit, compared with 1,800kg from Baikonur. Read more…

A mobile gantry bogie on its track which leads to the Soyuz launch pad

Gantry on way to Soyuz launch pad.jpg(Photo: Arianespace)

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