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April decision for first French Guiana Soyuz flight after July slip

23 Mar 2010, 15:08 UTC
April decision for first French Guiana Soyuz flight after July slip
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Speaking to Hyperbola at the launch of the UK Space Agency today European Space Agency director-general Jean-Jacques Dordain said that a decision would be made in April about when the first Samara Space Center Soyuz 2-1a rocket flight from Sinnamary in French Guiana will take placeThe decision is expected in April Dordain says because the Soyuz launch pad gantry should be completed by then. Its design, construction and testing in Russia and then delivery to Sinnamary and subsequent reconstruction has been blamed for part of the history of delays that have beset the Soyuz in French Guiana programme This July had been touted as the maiden flight month after no date had been set in 2009 following delays from 2007 to 2008 and then to last year. The latest third quarter delay could mean slippage for the launch into the fourth quarter when ESA was hoping to be ready to launch the 2-1b version of the Soyuz rocket. This uses different fuel for its upper stage and is needed to launch the first Galileo satellites

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