Press Release

Soyuz ready with Galileo satellites for milestone launch

By SpaceRef Editor
October 13, 2011
Filed under , ,

International space cooperation will be highlighted in a historic event on 20 October: the launch of Europe’s first Galileo navigation satellites on Russia’s first Soyuz rocket to depart from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.

Liftoff is scheduled for Thursday, 20 October at 12:34 CEST (11:34 GMT, 07:34 local time).

The launch will be the first time that Russia’s venerable Soyuz vehicle has ascended from European territory, adding a trusted workhorse to Europe’s launchers family.

This Soyuz-2 version is the latest in the renowned family of Russian rockets that began the space race more than 50 years ago by carrying both the first satellite, Sputnik, and the first man, Yuri Gagarin, into space.

Riding Soyuz will be the first two operational satellites in the Galileo constellation that will provide Europe with an independent global satellite navigation system.

Media can follow this important event live at one of the many launch events being organised around Europe, via satellite for broadcasters or on the web.

Information on covering the launch

Preparing for launch

Leading up to launch day, ESA TV is providing broadcasters with a series of video news releases that feature unique material on the Galileo programme and the Soyuz at Europe’s Spaceport.
All details can be found on ESA TV’s site at

Online videos about the Soyuz and Galileo programmes are available at

The latest high-resolution still images can be found by registering on ESA’s Photo Library for Professionals at

Media image queries can be directed to

Following the launch

For broadcasters, the launch will be transmitted live from Kourou on the AB-3 satellite.

Live web streaming of the launch will be available on

Attending a launch event
Several launch events open to media are being arranged, in cooperation with national and European partners, throughout Europe. The events will be centred on the video transmission of the launch, with ESA and other experts available for complementary information.

The following is a list of event locations and contact points for media wanting to attend the events:

Italy (in cooperation with the Italian space agency, ASI)
Location: ESRIN Via Galileo Galilei snc, I-00044, Rome.
Tel : +39 06 9418 0951

France (in cooperation with the French space agency, CNES, and Arianespace)
Location: CNES, 2 place Maurice Quentin, F-75001 Paris.
Tel: + 33 1 53 69 72 99Register:

Germany (in cooperation with the German space agency, DLR)
Deutsches Zentrum fuer Luft- und Raumfahrt
GCC, Oberpfaffenhofen, D-82234 Wessling.
Fax: +49 08153/28-1243

ESTEC, Keplerlaan 1, 2200 AG Noordwijk.Tel: + 31 71 565 3006

ESAC, Camino bajo del Castillo, s/n Urbanizacion Villafranca del Castillo, Villanueva de la Canada, E-28692, Madrid.
Tel +34 91 813 11 00

ESA Moscow office
Sretensky boulevard, 6/1 bld.2, office 122, 101000 Moscow.

UK (organised by the UK space agency, UKSA)
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Conference Centre, 1 Victoria Street, London.Email:

Belgium (organised by the European Commission)
Solidarnosc esplanade of the European Parliament, Rue Wiertz 60, Brussels.
The event is open to the public; no media registration is needed.

For further information, please contact:
ESA Media Relations Office
Communication Department
Tel: + 33 1 53 69 72 99
Fax: + 33 1 53 69 76 90

SpaceRef staff editor.