Steering Board meets to discuss Soyuz launch zone
In late July the Steering Board for the Soyuz launch pad configuration met at ESA’s headquarters in Paris. The meeting was called to review the recommendations of the working group on the new launch pad configuration that is to be built at Europe’s Spaceport.
Russia’s Soyuz launcher is scheduled to begin using Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana in 2006. The working group, made up of representatives of ESA, CNES, Arianespace and the Russian Federal Space Agency, was set up to make recommendations on the configuration to be used for the launch of the Soyuz launcher from French Guiana.
The Board is composed of Mr Fabrizi, ESA Director of Launchers, who chaired the meeting; Mr d’Escatha, the CEO of CNES; Mr Le Gall, CEO of Arianespace and Mr Medvedtchikov, deputy head of the Russian Federal Space Agency. At the July meeting they approved the working group’s recommendation to use a simplified mobile gantry for the Soyuz launcher’s final preparation and for integration of the upper composite.
The 53-metre-high mobile structure, weighting an estimated 1200 tonnes, will be moved 60-metres away from the launch pad prior to lift off. This design will in no way affect the compatibilility of any further evolutions that may be needed if Soyuz is to be used to launch human spaceflights from Europe’s Spaceport in the future.