All elements of the initial two Soyuz vehicles shipped to the Spaceport have now been brought ashore and are on French Guiana soil. This completes a three-day unloading process from the MN Colibri transport ship, with the last of some 50 containers now being moved in road convoys from the dock near Kourou to the Spaceport. The MN Colibri arrived in French Guiana on November 23, completing a transatlantic crossing from St. Petersburg, Russia that began on November 7.
The first two Soyuz to be operated by Arianespace have arrived in French Guiana, making a new milestone for the introduction of this venerable launcher from the Spaceport. The Soyuz vehicles were transported by the MN Colibri roll-on/roll-off transport ship, which docked on schedule yesterday morning at Pariacabo port near Kourou after completing the transatlantic voyage from Russia.
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The Ariane 5 GS version for Arianespace’s upcoming flight is now in the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building following delivery by prime contractor EADS Astrium Space Transportation. This launcher will orbit the Helios 2B French military reconnaissance satellite in a mission scheduled for December 9.
Preparations for the introduction of Arianespace’s Soyuz missions from French Guiana have entered a new phase with assembly startup for the launcher’s mobile service gantry at the Spaceport. The 52-meter-tall gantry will be one of the main differences from Soyuz’ other launch sites at Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia.
In an historic step for Arianespace’s expansion of its launcher family, the initial two Soyuz vehicles have been loaded aboard a roll-on/roll-off ship at St. Petersburg, Russia for their transatlantic voyage to the Spaceport in French Guiana. These launchers will be the first operated from the Spaceport, with Arianespace’s new Soyuz service to be inaugurated in 2010.
Loading has begun for Arianespace’s initial two Soyuz launchers to be operated from the Spaceport, which are to make their transatlantic voyage from St. Petersburg to French Guiana beginning this weekend. These Russian-built vehicles will be carried aboard the MN Colibri transport ship, which is to cover the 5,119-nautical mile Atlantic Ocean crossing in 15 days.