The 1,782nd flight of a Soyuz launch vehicle was performed on Wednesday, 21 December 2011 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 17:16 Moscow time (14:16 Paris time).
Arianespace and its Russian partners report that the Soyuz TMA-03M manned transport spacecraft was accurately placed on the target orbit for another mission to the International Space Station.
This was the seventeenth Soyuz family mission in 2011. With the introduction of Soyuz at the Guiana Space Center (CSG) and its successful historic launch on 21 October 2011, this famed Russian medium-class launch vehicle became an integral part of the European launch vehicle fleet, together with the heavy-lift Ariane 5 and the lightweight Vega. Offered to the commercial market, the Soyuz in French Guiana is Europe’s reference medium-class launch vehicle for governmental and commercial missions.
Arianespace is the world’s leading launch service & solutions company, delivering innovative solutions to its customers since 1980. Backed by 21 shareholders and the European Space Agency, Arianespace offers an international workforce renowned for a culture of commitment and excellence. As of December 21, 2011, Arianespace had launched a total of 298 payloads with Ariane launchers, had successfully launched the first Soyuz at the Guiana Space Center and was preparing the first launch of Vega. It has a backlog of 21 Ariane 5 and 16 Soyuz launches, equal to more than three years of business.