July 14, 2008

Federal Space Agency Hopes Contracts on 20 Soyuz Launches Will Be Signed Soon

FARNBOROUGH (UK). July 14 (Interfax-AVN) - The Federal Space Agency has received preliminary orders for about 20 Soyuz rocket launches from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana and the Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan, agency deputy head Vitaly Davydov told Interfax-AVN at the Farnborough Air Show on Monday.

"We are in active negotiations with the clients. We hope to agree on up to 20 Soyuz launches in the near future," he said.

The agency and the Samara CSKB-Progress are preparing to launch four Soyuz rockets from Kourou, Davydov said.

The first vessel carrying equipment for the prospective Soyuz launch pad recently departed for Kourou.

The Kourou Soyuz project is a joint undertaking of the Federal Space Agency, the European Space Agency, and the French Space Agency. Thus far, the spaceport has launched nothing but French heavy rockets Ariane 5.

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