MOSCOW, June 5 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is preparing to launch a group of Soyuz-ST carrier rockets of various payloads from the European Space Agency (ESA)’s Kourou space center in French Guiana in June and July of this year, according a RIA Novosti source in the Russian space agency.
“The cluster launch of a Soyuz-ST, with a Fregat-MT upper stage, and four scientific satellites is set for July 10. Another Russian Soyuz-ST will put two European satellites into orbit to expand the navigation constellation Galileo,” the source told RIA Novosti.
Earlier reports stated that French space-launch company Arianespace had signed a contract with Russian space agency Roscosmos for the delivery of seven additional Soyuz carrier rockets. The firm said the new order will allow it to fulfill private and governmental orders through 2018.
The Russian-built rockets have been sending satellites into space for several years as part of a 2003 agreement between Russia and France.