Upcoming Soyuz Launches Seen For ESA, Eumetsat, Others
The 1,713th flight of a Soyuz launch vehicle was performed Sept. 18 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 10:08 a.m. Baikonur time (6:08 a.m., in Paris).
It carried two crew members and the first female civilian space tourist to the International Space Station. (Please see Space & Missile Defense Report, Monday, Sept. 18, 2006, page 6.)
Starsem, Arianespace and their Russian partners report that the Soyuz TMA-9 manned transport spacecraft was placed on the target orbit to reach the ISS, in the eighth Soyuz family mission in 2006.
The next Soyuz flight will be accomplished by Starsem for the European Eumetsat Organization, launching MetOp-A, the first European satellite in polar orbit dedicated to meteorology and climate observation.
With the introduction of the Soyuz at the Guiana Space Center (CSG), this Russian launch vehicle becomes an integral part of the European launcher fleet, together with the heavy-lift Ariane 5 and the lightweight Vega.
To be offered exclusively by Arianespace to the commercial market, the Soyuz at CSG is Europe’s reference medium-class launch vehicle for governmental and commercial missions.
Starsem is the Soyuz company, bringing together all key players involved in the production, operation and international commercial marketing of the Russian transport vehicle.
Shareholders in Starsem are Arianespace, European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. [EADS], the Russian Federal Space Agency and the Samara Space Center.
The Starsem manifest for Soyuz missions currently includes contracted launches for the European Space Agency, Eumetsat, MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates Ltd and Globalstar LLC.