Wednesday 2 December, Soyuz accomplished a flawless launch from the Guiana Space Centre (CSG), Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, orbiting the FalconEye reconnaissance satellite developed by the consortium led by Airbus Defence & Space and Thales Alenia Space on behalf of the United Arab Emirates. FalconEye’s architecture is similar to that of France’s Pleiades-HR Earth-observation satellites. Soyuz thus accomplished its 24th mission from the CSG, its first launch in 2020 and the sixth flight of the year in all from the base.
On the occasion of this launch, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall commented: “This 24th flawless launch by Soyuz from the Guiana Space Centre marks the sixth flight this year from the base. I am delighted to see the faith the United Arab Emirates has placed in us, in line with the Strategic Dialogue it has engaged with France at the highest levels of government. I would also like to congratulate all of the teams at ESA, across the Russian and European space industries, at Starsem, Arianespace, UAESA, Airbus Defence & Space and Thales Alenia Space, and of course at CNES, whose technical and operational prowess was once again on show.”