Soyuz Effort Accelerates at Kourou; Russian Rocket Lifts German Spy Sat

The Russians Are Coming…to launch rockets from European base
AFP

“Today, though, the Guiana Space Centre (CSG) is girding for a new era when it will host Russian rockets and Russian engineers who just a short while ago were Europe’s space rivals.

“On Sunday, a freighter is due to dock in Cayenne bearing a first consignment of 150 containers of equipment to fit out a launch pad at CSG where, from the second half of 2009, the first “European” Soyuz is scheduled to blast into space.”

Russian Rocket Launches German Reconnaissance Satellite
Spaceflight Today

“The capstone of a fleet of German military satellites rocketed into space from Russia early Tuesday, completing a series of five launchings of spacecraft designed to scout locations around the world.

“The SAR-Lupe 5 satellite, a 1,700-pound craft (771-kg) outfitted with cloud-piercing and night-vision radar, launched aboard a Russian Kosmos 3M rocket at 0240 GMT Tuesday (10:40 p.m. EDT Monday), according to news reports.”