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The official ceremony marking ESA’s handover of the Soyuz launch site to Arianespace took place on 7 May 2011 at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, after the site was declared ready for the first flight and the completion of a simulated launch campaign.
The ceremony opened with speeches by Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA Director General, Jean-Yves Le Gall, Chairman and CEO of Arianespace, Yannick d’Escatha, President of CNES, and Vladimir Popovkin, Head of Roscosmos. They were followed by Mr Dordain handing over the site’s ‘keys’ to Mr Le Gall.