Prestige and a multibillion investments will be at stake when this Thursday will be the first spacecraft launched by the Soviet era with the European space base in South America.
For the first time in its history, the legendary rocket, "family tree" which can be traced down to the Gagarin will not run with the Russian base. It will deliver into orbit the first two satellites of existing programs Galileo, a European rival GPS, a total value of $ 7.2 billion.
Soyuz rocket is the most successful in the world. She has a whopping 1776 runs, if you count her forerunners until 1957. During all this time, it happened only 99 failures, thus launches were successful in 94.4 percent of cases.
Prior to that, the Union launched from Plesetsk in northern Russia, or from Baikonur in Kazakhstan. In 2003 he was awarded the contract for it to run from the base of the European Space Agency (ESA) in Kourou, French Guiana. The proceeds from this run will go to the development of the Russian space industry.
The site area of 12 kilometers has been converted into a launching pad of the Union ships Ariane. As a symbol of unprecedented co-operation, a stone was laid from Baikonur, from where Yuri Gagarin made the first human space flight in 1961.
Launched from Kourou Union called Soyuz-STB.
Runs in the cargo space is just as prestigious as valuable.
As stated by the European Union, Galileo will be much more accurate than GPS and will provide better coverage in urban areas where satellite signals can be distorted buildings. The largest trade union in the world will no longer be dependent on other countries in this has become a necessity of technology.
"Galileo marks the willingness of Europe to be independent of the geolocation of the American GPS and Russian GLONASS," - said Claude Ode to the French National Centre for Space Studies.
From Kourou, the Union is able to lift into geostationary orbit a weight of 2.8 tons, while in Baikonur, only 1.7 tons. Such a large difference is due to the additional energy from the more rapid rotation of the Earth around the equator.