Russian Soyuz ST rocket carrying two satellites for the European Galileo navigation system was successfully launched at 08:48 GMT from the Guiana space center, according to Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos).
PARIS (Sputnik) – Russian Soyuz ST rocket carrying two satellites for the European Galileo navigation system was launched from the Kourou Space Center in French Guiana on Tuesday, Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos) said in a statement.
The missile was successfully launched at 08:48 GMT from the Guiana space center. Soyuz ST carried the 13th and 14th satellites of the European navigation system Galileo, similar to the US Global Positioning System (GPS) and Russian Glonass system.
By 2020 the European Space Agency (ESA) plans to launch 30 Galileo satellites to ensure European independence from GPS, Glonass as well as Chinese BeiDou navigation systems.
Soyuz ST is a version of the Soyuz-2 rocket adapted for launches from Kourou. Due to its location near the equator, the Kourou launch site gives the Soyuz greater thrust to put larger payloads into orbit.