- Russia set to ship Soyuz carrier rockets to Kourou
- ESA to orbit three satellites with Russian rockets in 2009
- Russia puts ESA's GOCE satellite into orbit
- Russia to charge NASA $51 mln for seats on Soyuz spacecraft
ST. PETERSBURG, November 7 (RIA Novosti) -- A special cargo ship carrying parts of two Russian Soyuz-ST rockets on Saturday left the port of St. Petersburg, heading to the Kourou space site, the Russian space agency said.
Soyuz-ST is a modernized version of the Soyuz-2 rocket developed by the Samara-based Progress design bureau specifically for launches from the Kourou space center in French Guiana.
The Kourou launch site is intended mainly for the launch of geostationary satellites. Its proximity to the equator will enable the Soyuz-ST to put into orbit heavier satellites than those launched from Baikonur in Kazakhstan and Plesetsk in northern Russia.
Russia's Federal Space Agency Roscosmos and French satellite launch firm Arianespace signed a contract last year to launch 10 Russian Soyuz-ST carrier rockets from a separate launch pad in French Guiana near Sinnamari, a village 10 kilometers (6 miles) north of the site used for the Ariane-5, the main European-made booster.
The contract is estimated at $300-$400 million and stipulates at least three launches per year.
Rene Pischel, head of the European Space Agency's (ESA) office in Russia said in August that the construction of the spaceport for Soyuz launches at Kourou is in its final stages and a supply tower is currently being assembled.
The first launch of the Soyuz-ST rocket from Kourou is scheduled for April 2010.
Add to blog
You may place this material on your blog by copying the link.
Image Galleries: International Chefs Day 2014: 'Pass It On!'
Infographics: Nobel Peace Prize
During the 11th Annual Meeting to be held in Sochi from October 22 to 24, experts of the Valdai International Discussion Club will focus on whether the global community will develop ground rules for the world politics or whether it will be a game without any rules where everyone fend for themselves.