1st Soyuz Undergoes An Initial Assembly Checkout At The
The first Soyuz to be assembled in French Guiana is
undergoing its initial assembly checkout, in preparation for
Arianespace's maiden commercial flight from the Spaceport in French
Guiana later this year. The activity is part of a regular
maintenance check that is standard for Soyuz launchers in storage
awaiting liftoff, and the build-up process also is being used to
qualify assembly procedures in the Spaceport's new Launcher
Integration Building for the Russian-built medium-lift
Arianespace Soyuz Payload
This is one of two Soyuz 2-1a vehicles that were delivered to
French Guiana last November, and it is scheduled for launch before
the end of 2010 with the HYLAS telecommunications satellite for
Along with the payload, the no. 1 Soyuz launcher at the
Spaceport in French Guiana has completed the first step of its
initial build-up, with all four of the vehicle's first stage
strap-on boosters now mated to the Block A core second stage.
The launcher's current build-up is part of regular maintenance
checks that are typical for Soyuz vehicles in storage awaiting
liftoff, and the integration also is being used to qualify assembly
processes in the Spaceport's new Launcher Integration Building.
These procedures are similar to those used for decades in Soyuz
operations from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and the
Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia, with more than 1,750 flights
performed to date from those facilities.
Arianespace Soyuz Booster
With completion of the boosters' mating to the no. 1 Soyuz'
Block A stage on Saturday, May 8 at the Spaceport, pneumatic
testing of this integrated portion of the launcher is now underway.
The next step will be installation of the Soyuz' Block I third
stage, enabling electrical testing to be performed with the
launcher's three assembled stages.
The launcher being built-up is one of two Soyuz 2-1a vehicles
delivered to the Spaceport last November, and its is scheduled to
be used on the maiden flight from French Guiana - carrying the
HYLAS 1 telecommunications satellite for Avanti Communications.
Arianespace Soyuz Launch Facility
Once Soyuz joins Arianespace's launcher family, this vehicle
will have the unique distinction of operating from three sites
worldwide: at the Spaceport in French Guiana for Arianespace's
commercial missions, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan,
and at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia.