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PARIS, August 19. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Soyuz carrier rocket that will place into orbit two Galileo satellites of the European Space Agency (ESA) will be launched from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana on August 21, Arianespace said on Tuesday.
Arianespace is a French company, providing launch services to commercial satellite operators and government space agencies around the globe based on a complete family of launchers: the Ariane 5 heavy-lift launch vehicle, the Soyuz medium-size launcher, the Vega light-weight launcher.
The satellites will be placed into a circular near-earth orbit with the altitude of 23,200 kilometres and inclination of 55.4 degrees by the Fregat-MT upper stage. The forthcoming Kourou launch will be the ninth Soyuz rockets’ blastoff from the French Guiana spaceport. The European satellites will join in orbit the earlier launched four spacecraft of the Galileo European global navigation system. In 2011, Soyuz during its first blastoff from the French Guiana spaceport placed into orbit two initial permanent satellites for the Galileo system. The number of the orbital constellation spacecraft is to be increased to 18 by 2015, and the system is to be finally formed by 2018 when the total number of satellites will reach 30.