Guyana Space Center
The Guyanese Space Center (French: Center Spatial Guyanais) is a French spaceport near the city of Kourou in French Guiana.
Because France was unable to build its spaceport in Europe due to dense population and had to leave its first, Hammaguir in Algeria, it decided in time for another solution. The site was chosen in 1964 and France built its spaceport there. When the European Space Agency (ESA) was founded in 1975, France offered the newly created agency to the newly created space center. Commercial launches are also sold to non-European companies. ESA pays two-thirds of the spaceport budget and also funds the expansion and modifications of the complex to develop Ariane carriers. The ground segment consists of buildings for the preparation of missiles and satellites, a launch plant and a fuel plant. There are also non-functional ramps for launching already decommissioned Diamond missiles. The complex was reconstructed in 1975-1978 for Ariane launchers.
The facility has been in operation since 1968. The location near the city of Kourou is extremely convenient for the construction of the spaceport due to the proximity of the equator and the fact that the missiles take off above the Atlantic Ocean. Satellites and probes from the European Space Agency, the French Space Agency (CNES), as well as satellites from the commercial company Arianespace, are being launched from the spaceport.
Kourou lies about 500 km north of the equator, at 5 ° 8 'north latitude. At this latitude, the Earth's rotation adds a speed of 460 m / s to the rocket if the starting trajectory is facing east. Therefore, it is easier to transport the satellite to the desired orbit.
Tracking stations are located on a number of islands, such as Royale, Belem, Nafalu, etc.
The fire brigade of the space center is handled by the Paris Fire Brigade. Security is provided by French gendarmerie units (Gendarmerie) together with the 3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment of the French Foreign Legion and other military units.
Soyuz at Guyana Space Center
In 2007, ESA began building buildings and other facilities for Russian Soyuz 2 launchers at the spaceport. Under the terms of the Russian-European cooperation agreement, ESA expanded its space squadron with Soyuz missiles (used for both ESA launches and commercial launches) and Russia acquired access to the Kourou spaceport so that Soyuz missiles with Russian cargo can take off from there. Russia is using the Guyana Space Center as an alternative to its Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, giving it the ability to carry significantly heavier loads from a vantage point near the equator.
The project was co-financed by Arianespace, ESA and the European Union, and the French agency CNES was chosen as the main contractor. The projected price was to be approximately 320 million euros, of which 120 million euros is intended for the modernization of the Soyuz carrier.
The official launch of the ramp took place on February 27, 2007. Russian companies arrived at the spaceport in early March 2007 to build the necessary infrastructure and support structures for the Soyuz missile launches. The first test launch of the Soyuz from Kourou was originally planned for 2008, but due to technical problems the construction became more expensive and the launch was postponed to 2011. The first launch of the Soyuz rocket, modified in ST-B, took place on October 21, 2011. two satellites of the newly built Galileo navigation system have been launched.
List of Russian space launches 2017
Pictures, sounds or videos on Guyana Space Center at Wikimedia Commons
(English) Official site of the Guyana Space Center Archived June 3, 2008 on the Wayback Machine