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Commemorative plaque and stone
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- Title Commemorative plaque and stone
- Released 09/05/2011 10:19 am
- Copyright ESA - S. Corvaja, 2011
Left to right: Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA Director General, Yannick d’Escatha, President of CNES, Vladimir Popovkin, Head of Roscosmos, and Jean-Yves Le Gall, Chairman and CEO of Arianespace.
The official ceremony marking ESA’s handover of the Soyuz launch site to Arianespace took place on 7 May 2011 at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, after the site was declared ready for the first flight and the completion of a simulated launch campaign.
The ceremony opened with speeches by Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA Director General, Jean-Yves Le Gall, Chairman and CEO of Arianespace, Yannick d’Escatha, President of CNES, and Vladimir Popovkin, Head of Roscosmos. They were followed by Mr Dordain handing over the site’s ‘keys’ to Mr Le Gall.
To mark this occasion and to celebrate the recent 50th anniversary of the first man in space, a commemorative plaque and a stone from the Baikonur launch pad from which Yuri Gagarin took off in 1961 was sealed on the site.