Soyuz Consultation Committee sets inaugural launch for fourth quarter of 2010
The Soyuz Consultation Committee, comprising representatives of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, the European Space Agency (ESA), the French space agency CNES and Arianespace, met on Tuesday, 11 May in French Guiana. It confirmed that the inaugural launch of Soyuz from the Guiana Space Centre would take place during the fourth quarter of 2010.
The meeting was called to take note of actual work progress on the Soyuz launch pad at the Guiana Space Centre, and to approve the overall timetable for assembly and testing leading up to the inaugural launch.
Nearly all Russian and European systems are now undergoing qualification. The first Soyuz launcher to lift off from the Guiana Space Centre is already assembled in the Preparation and Testing Building.
The meeting of the Soyuz Consultative Committee was co-chaired by Anatoli Perminov, Director of Roscosmos, Jean-Jacques Dordain, Director General of ESA, Yannick d’Escatha, President of CNES, and Jean-Yves Le Gall, Chairman and CEO of Arianespace. Also participating in the meeting were the heads of the ESA Launcher Directorate, the Guiana Space Centre, the CNES Launcher Directorate, the Samara TsSKB-Progress space centre (prime contractor for the Soyuz launch system), NPO-Lavotchkine (prime contractor for the Fregat upper stage) and TsENKI (prime contractor for ground infrastructures).
With Ariane 5, Soyuz and Vega all deployed from the Guiana Space Centre, Europe will offer a complete range of launch vehicles, enabling it to meet the full range of requirements for all Arianespace customers.
About Soyuz at the Guiana Space Centre
The European Space Agency (ESA) set up the programme “Soyuz at the Guiana Space Centre (CSG)” to bolster collaboration with Russia on launch vehicles. The programme is organised as follows:
- ESA is the owner and is responsible for the full development of the programme and hands over the Soyuz Launch Complex facilities to Arianespace for its exploitation.
- Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) bears overall responsibility for the programme on the Russian side, and coordinates the activities of the Russian industry involved in the programme.
- French space agency CNES is project prime contractor and system architect for the Soyuz launch system at CSG.
- Arianespace is responsible for the supply of Russian systems to CSG, coordination and support of the Russian activities for the development phase. Arianespace will be the Soyuz-ST launch operator at CSG for the operational phase.