U.S. space shuttles have gone to bed, but Russia continues to translate into reality the plans for further development of its space program. In addition to the cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and Russia, will soon see a new launch pad, located in the jungle of French Guiana, on the northern coast of South America.
Already this year, is expected to launch Russian alliance with the European Space Agency’s spaceport in French Guiana, where the headquarters of the French initiatives to launch spacecraft "Arian". For the first time the Union will not start from the Kazakh Baikonur and from the Russian cosmodrome "Plesetsk".
The new launch pad is located 12 kilometers north-west of the site to launch "Arianov." Two start-up, during which will be put into orbit satellites of the European navigation system, already planned for this year.
The program must pass a series of tests that will last several weeks.
In May, the site has been tested, which allowed the Russian and French engineers to test the system in action. Computers were activated and produced a fake rocket countdown.
Soyuz rockets usually carry 1.5 tons of pounds of cargo at the start from Baikonur. Due to the space center in French Guiana is located close to the equator, where the speed of rotation of the Earth’s surface above the missile Union can deliver the goods weighing 3 tons.
It is planned that the launch will occur no earlier than October.
NASA’s program "Space Shuttle" was closed after the shuttle Atlantis returned from its last mission. Thus, the Russian system "Union" was the only means of delivering astronauts to the International Space Station.