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Soyuz launch site
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- Title Soyuz launch site
- Released 31/03/2011 12:09 pm
- Copyright ESA - S. Corvaja, 2011
The Soyuz launch site lies 13 km northwest of the Ariane 5 launch complex. It is divided into the forward zone, with the launch pad, and the rear zone, with the Soyuz preparation building.
The two zones are linked by a 600 m railway. The three-stage Soyuz is transferred in a horizontal position to the pad and raised into its launch position.
The ‘upper composite’of the upper stage, payload and fairing is then moved to the pad and hoisted on top.
The launch site is almost identical to the other Soyuz sites in Kazakhstan and Russia, although adapted to conform to European safety regulations.
The most visible difference is the 45 m-tall mobile gantry, which provides a protected environment as payloads are installed on the vertical launcher. Its internal movable work platforms provide access to the Soyuz at various levels.