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  1. Spirit of Gagarin hovers over French Guiana as Soyuz launch pad breaks ground

    Publishing date:

    February 27, 2007

    A symbolic and important milestone has been reached on the road to the arrival of the mythical Russian Soyuz launcher in French Guiana. Numerous VIPs and representatives from CNES, ESA, Arianespace and the Russian space agency Roskosmos were at a ceremony to break ground for the new launch pad.

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  2. Launch no earlier than 2 January for Columbus laboratory

    Publishing date:

    December 4, 2007

    The European Columbus laboratory will have to wait at least 1 more month before launching to the ISS. Sunday 9 December, a persistent malfunction of a sensor in the external fuel tank of the space shuttle Atlantis forced STS-122 mission managers to postpone the launch for a 4th time. Atlantis on its launch pad. Crédits : NASA

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  3. Ariane 5 and beyond …

    Publishing date:

    March 21, 2005

    Through the Oural programme, initiated by France, CNES and the Russian space agency Roskosmos will be working together on research and technology for the development of future launch vehicles planned to succeed Ariane 5 by 2020.

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  4. ATV- the European ISS resupply ship

    Publishing date:

    August 3, 2007

    The Jules Verne, the first of Europe’s Automated Transfer Vehicles designed to ferry supplies to the International Space Station (ISS), arrived at the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou late in July. Since its arrival, CNES teams have been preparing the ATV for launch in specially altered facilities, under the watchful eye of the director of operations. It is scheduled to make its maiden flight on 31 January 2008, on a specially adapted Ariane 5 launcher.

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  5. Calipso to launch end October

    Publishing date:

    September 20, 2005

    The Calipso satellite dedicated to studying the atmosphere will be launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, at the end of October.

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  6. New launch date set for Calipso

    Publishing date:

    April 5, 2006

    Pushed back on 7 November 2005 as a result of strike action at Boeing, the launch of the NASA/CNES Calipso satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, is now scheduled for 21 April.

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  7. The Corot launch preparation campaign

    Publishing date:

    February 14, 2006

    The Corot launch preparation campaign is advancing on time and without a hitch, moving step by step toward its scheduled departure this autumn. This mission’s ambitious aim is to detect Earth-like planets outside our Solar System. We take a look behind the scenes at the work that has gone into readying this world-first satellite.

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  8. Calipso launch preparations

    Publishing date:

    February 14, 2006

    The launch of the Nasa/CNES Calipso satellite, postponed last autumn due to strike action at Boeing, is finally set to take place this week from Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB), California. We take a look at how Calipso has been preparing for the big day.

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  9. ATV campaign at Guiana Space Centre draws to a close

    Publishing date:

    February 25, 2008

    With just 2 weeks to go to the 1st flight of the ATV—Europe’s 1st uncrewed cargo vehicle designed to resupply the International Space Station (ISS)—from the Guiana Space Centre (CSG), reconfigured to accommodate and launch this huge spacecraft, an unprecedented campaign is now drawing to a close…

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  10. Syracuse 3A successfully positioned

    Publishing date:

    November 2, 2005

    Teams at the Toulouse Space Centre have successfully positioned the Syracuse 3A military telecommunications satellite, launched by an Ariane 5 GS vehicle during the night of 13 to 14 October 2005 from the Guiana Space Centre for the French ministry of defence.

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  11. Ariane 5 ECA joins the family

    Publishing date:

    February 14, 2005

    “The largest and latest in the Ariane generation has now joined the family.” Those were the first words of CNES President Yannick d’Escatha on the announcement of the successful launch of Ariane 5 ECA. The qualification launch on Saturday 12 February was a complete success, sending the XTar-Eur and Sloshsat satellites into orbit—a success that had been eagerly awaited in all quarters of the space community. Ariane 5 ECA's lift-off. 12 February 2005. Crédits : CNES/ESA/Arianespace

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  12. Jules Verne ATV mission on the starting blocks

    Publishing date:

    August 3, 2007

    After a 12-day voyage across the Atlantic, the Jules Verne ATV*—the first fully automatic uncrewed cargo vessel built in Europe—has arrived safely at the Guyana Space Centre (CSG) ahead of launch early next year. Under CNES supervision, the mission will be a major first for Ariane 5 and the CSG.

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  13. 10-ton Ariane 5 all ready to go

    Publishing date:

    October 11, 2004

    Since 9 August, CNES has been feverishly preparing for the forthcoming launch of Ariane 5 ECA, an uprated version of Ariane 5 offering greater lift capacity. After the failure of the launcher’s first flight in 2002, engineers embarked on a meticulous review. The launcher has now successfully completed ground qualification, but CNES’s teams are not dropping their guard and will be working flat out right up to the lift-off.

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  14. CNES positions Chinese satellite

    Publishing date:

    April 15, 2005

    Teams at the Toulouse Space Centre have been tasked with positioning the Apstar VI telecommunications satellite, launched 12 April from the Xichang launch base in south-west China.

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  15. An innovative project to mitigate orbital pollution

    Publishing date:

    July 5, 2005

    Is space set to become as polluted as Earth? Orbital pollution is a reality: the amount of debris orbiting round Earth is growing, calling for a “ clean-up ” of near-Earth space. The project developed by Christophe Bonnal (CNES Launchers Directorate) seeks to contribute to sustainable development of near-Earth space by using an innovative technique to deorbit the largest items of debris. Last June, the project was honoured by the Aeroclub de France with its Prize for Technological Innovation.

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  16. Gliding safely back to Earth

    Publishing date:

    February 7, 2006

    Developed by CNES, PRE-X is a reusable atmospheric re-entry vehicle that will demonstrate for the 1st time in Europe the ability to re-enter the atmosphere on an unpowered glidepath. The overall feasibility of the mission has now been validated and 1st flight is scheduled for 2009.

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  17. Controlling the ATV from Toulouse

    Publishing date:

    August 3, 2007

    The ATV Jules Verne, the 1st of Europe’s transfer vehicles that will ferry supplies to the International Space Station (ISS), is set to make its maiden flight on 14 February 2008. Most ATV control operations will be performed from Toulouse.

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  18. Jules Verne embarks on an extraordinary journey

    Publishing date:

    February 25, 2008

    Sunday 9 March, on its 37th launch—the first in its ES-ATV configuration—Ariane 5 successfully placed the European Jules Verne ATV into elliptical Earth orbit. In 3 weeks’ time, it will be approaching and docking with the International Space Station (ISS).

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  19. MyOcean – Ocean weather bulletins made in Europe

    Publishing date:

    April 28, 2009

    Mercator Ocean and the Midi-Pyrenees regional council recently launched the 1st European ocean monitoring and forecasting system that will provide a free service to give European citizens everywhere sea-state information at all times.

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  20. Vinci: full steam ahead

    Publishing date:

    March 15, 2006

    Vega, Ariane 5 and other launchers could be attracted by the performance of Vinci, Europe’s new cryogenic rocket engine. Recent tests have confirmed its high level of reliability.

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