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Soyuz lifts off from Kourou for first time
Posted: Fri, Oct 21, 2011, 6:25 PM ET (2225 GMT)
Soyuz launch of Galileo IOV1 from Kourou (ESA) A Soyuz rocket, launching from Europe's spaceport in French Guiana for the first time, placed two Galileo navigation satellites into orbit on Friday. The Soyuz-STB rocket lifted off from the spaceport near Kourou, French Guiana, at 6:30 am EDT (1030 GMT) Friday carrying the first two Galileo In Orbit Validation (IOV) satellites. Nearly four hours later the two satellites separated from the Fregat upper stage in circular orbits at an altitude of over 23,000 kilometers and inclined 54.7 degrees to the Equator. The satellites are part of four planned IOV satellites that will test out technologies required for the full satellite navigation system. The launch is also the first from Kourou for the Soyuz, which had previously launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia.
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