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Soyuz launch live
The Russian Soyuz launcher orbited the 2nd satellite of the Pléiades Earth-observation system developed by CNES on Sunday 2 December from French Guiana. Lift-off occurred at 2:02 UTC after a 24 hours postponement. Pléiades-1B will now join its twin Pléiades-1A, placed in the same 694-km orbit just one year ago. The 2 satellites will be phased opposite one another to enable daily revisits to any point on the globe.
Once the satellite has reached its final orbital position, CNES engineers in Toulouse will begin in-orbit checkout. Expected to last several months, this phase serves to check that all the components of the image production chain are working properly. The Pléiades system, with its 2 satellites in orbit, should be fully operational by the 2nd quarter of 2013. Imagery from the satellites will be marketed by Astrium GEO-Information Services.
Liftoff set for 2h02 (UTC)
- Launch date: 2 December 2012
- Launcher version: Soyuz ST-A
- Satellites: Pléiades-1B
- Customer: CNES
- Launch time: 2h02 (UTC)
- Webcast start time: 1h42 (UTC)
Previous Soyuz launch video
Preparations for flight VS04 in French Guiana
Photo report of the key phases of launcher and satellite preparations in French Guiana.