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Soyuz VS01 on launch pad

Soyuz VS01, the first Soyuz flight from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, was transferred to the launch zone on 14 October 2011.

The vehicle was rolled out horizontally on its erector from the preparation building to the launch zone and then raised into the vertical position. The ‘Upper Composite’, comprising the Fregat upper stage, payload and fairing, was also transferred and added onto the vehicle from above, completing the very first Soyuz on its launch pad at Europe’s Spaceport.


Soyuz VS01 will lift off on 20 October 2011. The rocket will carry the first two satellites of Europe’s Galileo navigation system into orbit.


For further information on this historic launch please visit:


For a slideshow of Soyuz in preparation for launch, please visit:


Credits: ESA, S.Corvaja 2011


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Taken on October 15, 2011