September 29, 2005


The Russian launcher at Europe's spaceport

19 July 2005, CNES and the European Space Agency signed the development contract to build launch facilities for Soyuz at the Guiana Space Centre.

The arrival of Soyuz in French Guiana, adapted to launch from the Kourou spaceport, is an event of unprecedented significance in the history of space launcher cooperation between Europe and Russia. In 2010, the mythical Russian rocket will launch for the 1st time from a base other than Plessetsk or Baikonur.

This strategic engineering and economic cooperation programme will give Europe a medium-lift vehicle to complete the range of launchers operated by Arianespace.

The historic agreement has shifted the project into higher gear after 2 years of preparatory studies and negotiations.
It also marks the start of construction work on the ground infrastructures (integration, launch and tracking facilities).

Soyuz in Guiana
InitiatorsCNES and ESA
StatusIn development
OriginESA Council meeting of May 2003, proposed by France 
ParticipantsBelgium, Germany, France, Italy, Russia, Spain, Switzerland and the European Union
ObjectivesOperate Russian Soyuz launchers from a new launch pad in French Guiana
1st launch

 21 October 2011


 Last updated:  October 2011


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