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Russia to launch ESA satellites from French Guiana Dec. 17

RIA Novosti

18:07 12/12/2011 MOSCOW, December 12 (RIA Novosti) - A Russian launcher will put several European Space Agency (ESA) satellites into orbit from the Kourou space port in French Guiana on December 17, Russia’s Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) said on Monday.

The Soyuz ST-A will orbit Pleades and SSoT satellites, as well as four Elisa microsatellites.

The rocket was delivered to the launch pad on Monday morning.

The liftoff is slated for 2:03 a.m. GMT.

The first Soyuz launcher took off from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana on October 21. 2011.

Soyuz is a medium-class launcher. Its performance perfectly complements that of the ESA launchers Ariane and Vega and increases the competitiveness and flexibility of the exploitation of Ariane launchers in the commercial market, ESA said.

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