The Russian Soyuz vehicle lifted off for the first time from its new launch complex at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana on 21 October 2011. Flight VS01 carried the first two operational satellites of Europe’s Galileo navigation system into orbit.
This time-lapse movie shows the three-stage Soyuz transfer from the assembly and testing building to the launch pad where it is then raised to the vertical. Once in the Mobile gantry, the Upper Composite containing the satellites and Fregat-MT upper stage is hoisted into position on top of the vehicle. The gantry is then rolled back, clearing the way for Soyuz to lift off.