Build-up is underway for the no. 1 Soyuz to be launched from French Guiana
September 16, 2011 – Soyuz Flight VS01
The first Soyuz to be operated from French Guiana has begun the integration process, marking a major step toward Arianespace’s introduction of the workhorse medium-lift vehicle into its launcher family at the Spaceport.
During activity this week, the Soyuz launcher’s central core Block A second stage was fitted with one of four strap-on boosters that constitute the Russian-built launcher’s first stage.
The horizontal integration is taking place inside a purpose-built Launcher Integration Building at the Spaceport, where Soyuz vehicles will undergo their initial build-up. Once assembled, they will be rolled out to the launch pad and erected in the vertical position for installation of the upper composite – consisting of Soyuz’ Fregat upper stage and the satellite payload.
Liftoff of the historic no. 1 Soyuz from French Guiana is set for October 20 with two European Galileo navigation satellites, and will be followed by a second flight of the Russian launcher at the Spaceport in December.