The European Space Agency has contracted with the Russian Space Agency to acquire the first four Soyuz rockets for the new launch pad under construction at the European spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. The launch vehicles will be built by Samara and operated by Arianespace. ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain says he hopes to have the vehicles and the pad ready for an initial launch by early 2009. Two Soyuz rockets are earmarked for launch of the first four Galileo in-orbit ...

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