Tag Archives: French Guiana

Europe’s Galileo GPS constellation reaches 10 satellites

The competition heats up: A Soyus rocket today launched from French Guiana the 9th and 10th satellites in Europe’s competing GPS system.

This launch enhances competition in two ways. First it is a success of the Russian Soyuz rocket, launched from the European spaceport in South America, Second, it establishes a competing GPS system to the American system, which is great for everyone. Expect future GPS units to provide the capability to use both the systems, as well as the Russian Glonass system.

It looks like there will be no manned Soyuz missions launched from South America.

It looks like there will be no manned Soyuz missions launched from South America.

An ESA study conducted between 2002 and 2004 found that because the Soyuz has not been designed to land in the sea, a French Guiana launch that had to be aborted would endanger the spacecraft and its crew as it would likely have to ditch in the Atlantic Ocean. The Soyuz spacecraft have always landed on land in the former Soviet territory of Kazakhstan.

A successful first launch of a Russian rocket outside of the old Soviet Union

For the first time, the Russians today successfully launched a Russian rocket from a spaceport outside of the old Soviet Union.

The Soyuz also put into orbit the first two satellites of the European Galileo GPS constellation.