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Europe's space rockets:
Ariane Today, Vega Tomorrow
EUROPE IN SPACE HISTORY ROCKETS SPACECRAFT ASTRONAUTS SPACE STATION ASTRONOMY EUROPE
European Space Agency rockets are called Ariane and they are launched from pads at Kourou, French Guiana, on the northeastern edge of South America.
ESA artist conception of
Europe's future Vega rocket
The Kourou space launch complex is known as Centre Spatial Guyanais. CSG is owned by the French national space agency, CNES.
CSG is used by the European Space Agency (ESA) and its commercial space launch arm Arianespace to blast ESA's Ariane rockets to space.
Back in 1965, France launched a satellite to orbit from Hammaguir, Algeria, in North Africa. Today, France is part of the European Space Agency, which fires space rockets from Kourou.
- CSG is one of the most favorable sites for launches of satellites to geostationary orbit.
- Kourou's position near the equator offers an advantage over Cape Canaveral for eastbound launches.
- French Guiana's coastline permits launches into both equatorial and polar Sun-synchronous orbits with inclinations up to 100.5o.
- Hundreds of sounding rockets and balloons and space satellites have been launches from Centre Spatial Guyanais.
In 1971, Great Britain launched a satellite to orbit from Woomera, Australia.
Italy has launched satellites from its San Marco Range, which is a pair of platforms in Formosa Bay three miles off the coast of Kenya. The San Marco platform is the launch pad. Santa Rita platform holds the firing control blockhouse. The range started firing rockets in 1966.
More information on Europe's space rockets
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