Ensemble de Lancement Soyouz
The Ensemble de Lancement Soyouz (ELS) (in English Soyuz Launch Complex) is a launch complex at the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou/Sinnamary, French Guiana. It is used by Soyuz-ST rockets: modified versions of the Soyuz-2 optimised for launch from Kourou under Soyuz at the Guiana Space Centre programme.
|Launch site||Guiana Space Centre|
The site's equatorial latitude allows a greater payload mass to be delivered into geosynchronous transfer orbit compared to existing Soyuz launch facilities at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
ELS is fifteen kilometres north-west of the launch facilities used by Ariane rockets.
It consists of a single launch pad, with a horizontal assembly and processing facility, or MIK, located 700 metres away. As with the Soyuz launch complexes at Baikonur and Plesetsk, the pad is connected to the MIK by means of a wide gauge railway, along which the rocket is transported before erection at the pad.
Unlike other Soyuz launch complexes, the pad features a mobile service tower, where the payload is integrated when the rocket is in the vertical position; at Baikonur and Plesetsk the payload is horizontally integrated in the MIK before the rocket is moved to the pad. The tower shrouds the rocket during integration, but is moved back to a safe distance (again on rails) prior to launch.
ELS also differs in having a fixed launch mount, rather than one which can be rotated, meaning that the rocket may need to execute a roll manoeuvre during its ascent to orbit. Earlier rockets in the R-7 family were incapable of rolling, so their launch complexes were built to allow launch azimuth to be adjusted before launch.
In 2015 after the quantity of payload orders requiring fuelling at the launch complex S3B site had been identified as a possible bottleneck in flight operations FCube, a new clean room fuelling facility dedicated to the Fregat upper stage and potentially additional small satellite payloads was built which will cut fuelling times from five weeks to as little as one.
|VS01||21 October 2011||10:30||Soyuz-STB/Fregat||Success||Galileo IOV-1||Navigation satellites|
|VS02||17 December 2011||02:03||Soyuz-STA/Fregat||Success||Pleiades 1A
ELISA (4 satellites)
Earth observation satellite for Chile
Electronic Intelligence Satellites
|VS03||12 October 2012||18:15||Soyuz-STB/Fregat||Success||Galileo IOV-2||Navigation satellites|
|VS04||2 December 2012||02:02||Soyuz-STA/Fregat||Success||Pleiades 1B||Imaging Satellite|
|VS05||25 June 2013||19:27||Soyuz-STB/Fregat||Success||O3b F1||Low Earth orbit communication satellites|
|VS06||19 December 2013||09:12||Soyuz-STB/Fregat||Success||Gaia||Lissajous orbit – Space observatory|
|VS07||3 April 2014||21:02||Soyuz-STA/Fregat||Success||Sentinel-1A||Sun-synchronous orbit – Earth observation|
|VS08||10 July 2014||18:55||Soyuz-STB/Fregat||Success||O3b F2||Low Earth orbit communication satellites|
|VS09||22 August 2014||12:27||Soyuz-STB/Fregat||Partial failure||Galileo FOC-1||Navigation satellites|
|VS10||18 December 2014||18:37||Soyuz-STB/Fregat||Success||O3b F3||Low Earth orbit communication satellites|
|VS11||27 March 2015||21:46||Soyuz-STB/Fregat||Success||Galileo FOC-2||Navigation satellites|
|VS12||11 September 2015||02:08||Soyuz-STB/Fregat||Success||Galileo FOC-3||Navigation satellites|
|VS13||17 December 2015||11:51||Soyuz-STB/Fregat||Success||Galileo FOC-4||Navigation satellites|
|VS14||25 April 2016||21:02||Soyuz-STA/Fregat||Success||Sentinel-1B||Sun-synchronous orbit – Earth observation|
|VS15||24 May 2016||08:48||Soyuz-STB/Fregat||Success||Galileo FOC-5||Navigation satellites|
|VS16||28 January 2017||01:03||Soyuz-STB/Fregat||Success||Hispasat 36W-1||Geostationary communication satellite|
|VS17||18 May 2017||11:55||Soyuz-STA/Fregat||Success||SES 15||Geostationary communication satellite|
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