Encyclopedia Astronautica
Kourou ELS


Ensemble de Lancement Soyuz

Longitude: -52.8354 deg.
Latitude: 5.2954 deg.

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Associated Launch Sites
  • Kourou After the agreement with newly independent Algeria for France to evacuate their launch sites in that country, a location near Biscarosse was selected for French missile testing. However since only launches westwards across the Bay of Biscay could be made from this site, it was unsuitable for France's Diamant orbital launch vehicle. After reviewing 14 potential sites, a location in the South American French colony of Guiana was selected. This would allow over-water launches to a tremendous range of possible orbital inclinations -- from -100.5 deg to 1.5 deg. Being near the equator, it would provide the maximum assist from the earth's rotation for launches into equatorial orbits. The decision was formalized in April 1964 and in July 1966 ELDO chose the site for future launches of the Europa II launch vehicle. More...

Kourou ELS Chronology


2011 October 21 - . 10:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELS. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz-2-1B.
  • Galileo-PFM - . Nation: Europe. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft: Galileo Navsat. USAF Sat Cat: 37846 . COSPAR: 2011-060A. Apogee: 23,307 km (14,482 mi). Perigee: 23,234 km (14,436 mi). Inclination: 54.7000 deg. Period: 846.80 min. Summary: First Galileo navigation satellites launched to establish an autonomous European navigation satellite constellation. First Soyuz booster launch from the new Ensemble de Lancement Soyuz pad in Kourou..
  • Galileo-FM2 - . Nation: Europe. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft: Galileo Navsat. USAF Sat Cat: 37847 . COSPAR: 2011-060B. Apogee: 23,274 km (14,461 mi). Perigee: 23,228 km (14,433 mi). Inclination: 54.7000 deg. Period: 845.90 min.

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