The first Soyuz to take off from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana was moved to the launch pad on Saturday 14 October. The rocket that will carry the first two Galileo navigation satellites into orbit is on track for liftoff on 20 October. The Launch Readiness Review will take place on Wednesday 19 October. The three-stage Soyuz ST-B was rolled out horizontally on its erector from the preparation building using the 600 m-long railway that leads to the pad. The vehicle was then raised into its launch position. Earlier last week, the two Galileo In-Orbit Validation satellites, attached to their dispenser, were mated to the Fregat-MT upper stage and then enclosed in the fairing. This ‘Upper Composite’ was also transferred on Saturday 14 October and added onto the vehicle from above, completing the very first Soyuz on its launch pad at Europe’s Spaceport.
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