Lift off of Soyuz flight VS01
The first pair of satellites for Europe's Galileo global navigation satellite system has been lofted into orbit by the first Russian Soyuz vehicle ever launched from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana in a milestone mission.

The Soyuz VS01 flight, operated by Arianespace, started with liftoff from the new launch complex in French Guiana at 10:30 GMT (12:30 CEST) on 21 October.

This was also the first Soyuz to be launched from a site outside of Baikonur in Kazakhstan or Plesetsk in Russia.

A new site for Soyuz in French Guiana, operated by Arianespace, adds to the flexibility and competitiveness of Europe's fleet of launchers.

The two Galileo satellites riding the Soyuz are part of the In-Orbit Validation (IOV) phase that will see the Galileo system's space, ground and user segments extensively tested.

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Soyuz VS01, ESA, European Space Agency, CSG, Europe's Spaceport, launcher, rocket, IOV, Galileo, transfer, MIK

Credits line: ESA - S. Corvaja, 2011
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