ZHUKOVSKY (Moscow region), August 27 (RIA Novosti) – Two launches of Russian Soyuz rockets will be made from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana before the end of the current year and four next year, French Space Agency head Jean-Yves Le Gall told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.
On September 30, Russia will orbit four 03b Networks satellites to provide broadband Internet access in remote areas, and on November 20 will send up the Gaia telescope for the European Space Agency.
The O3b Networks satellites are designed and built by Thales Alenia Space to become a part of the first medium-Earth-orbit satellite constellation providing broadband Internet access in remote areas of the world.
Next year, Soyuz-ST rockets will orbit a Galileo navigation satellite, new O3b clusters and a Sentinel satellite as part of the ESA’s Global Monitoring for Environment and Security program, Le Gall said.
There are no plans to increase the number of launches from Kourou, he said.
“Three or four launches a year is quite enough to recoup a project. That is the maximum number of launches,” he said.
The Soyuz-ST is a modification of the three-stage Soyuz-2 rocket with a Fregat upper stage adapted for launch in high heat and humidity prevalent in Kourou.