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SoyuzFregat on the launch pad
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Soyuz/Fregat on the launch pad

January 18, 2005
The Soyuz/Fregat launcher, with its passenger Mars Express, is moved into the upright position on the launch pad in Baikonur.

Europe's first mission to the Red Planet Earth sets off on 2 June 2003 when the positions of the two planets make for the shortest possible route, a condition that occurs once every twenty-six months. The intrepid spacecraft will start its six-month journey from the Baikonur launch pad in Kazakhstan onboard a Russian Soyuz/Fregat launcher.


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