Final countdown is underway for Arianespace’s no. 2 Soyuz flight from French Guiana
Arianespace’s second Soyuz mission from the Spaceport is ready for liftoff tonight on a flight to place a diverse payload of six satellite passengers into Sun synchronous orbit.
Launcher fueling began at 4 hours before the Soyuz’ scheduled liftoff at 11:03:08 p.m. (local time in French Guiana), following the authorization from a State Commission meeting that included the participation of Arianespace. This Commission is a part of the pre-launch process included in operations of the Russian-built medium-lift vehicle, and it came one day after the launch readiness review that is a regular milestone in Arianespace missions with its heavy-lift Ariane 5.
For Soyuz’ no. 2 flight from French Guiana, the mixed payload consists of France’s Pléiades 1 and the Chilean SSOT satellites for civilian and defense image gathering, along with four French ELISA micro-satellite demonstrators for defense-related electronic intelligence gathering (ELINT).
Pléiades 1 is to be deployed 55 minutes after Soyuz’ liftoff, followed four minutes later by the simultaneous release of all ELISA satellites. Completing the mission will be the separation of SSOT, which is to occur 3 hours, 26 minutes after liftoff.