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Soyuz January 27, 2017

Soyuz enters the final countdown for Arianespace’s year-opening flight

Arianespace has commenced the final countdown for tonight’s medium-lift Soyuz mission from the Spaceport in French Guiana, which is to place the Hispasat 36W-1 telecommunications relay platform into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO).

vs16-launch-windowFueling of Soyuz is now underway on the launch pad, with the vehicle protected by a 53-meter-tall mobile gantry. This gantry will be rolled back to its parked position one hour before liftoff, revealing the completed launcher for the first time.

Tonight’s Arianespace mission – designated VS16 in the company’s launcher family numbering system – is set for liftoff at 10:03 p.m. local time in French Guiana, with Hispasat 36W-1 to be deployed during a flight sequence lasting 32 minutes and 10 seconds.

Soyuz Flight VS16: A milestone mission

After reaching the 36 deg. West orbital position, Hispasat 36W-1 is to be operated by Hispasat – a world leader in Spanish and Portuguese broadcasting, providing relay coverage and multimedia services for continental Europe, the Canary Islands and South America.

Arianespace’s Flight VS16 – which kicks off the company’s 2017 launch activity – will be the 16th liftoff of a Soyuz since its 2011 introduction at the Spaceport, and marks this launcher’s first mission to geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) from French Guiana.

  • More details are available in the Arianespace Launch Kit for Flight VS16:
Soyuz Flight VS16
PDF / 1 MB

European Space Agency website:

Hispasat website:

OHB website:

Soyuz January 26, 2017

Soyuz is “GO” for Arianespace’s first launch of 2017

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