In French Guiana (South America) from Kuru space launching site, they launched two European satellites ‘Soyuz-ST’ as a result of an ambitious project which began in 2005. The Europeans have received one of the most safe and trouble-free satellites and plan to make over 50 launches during the next ten years. The launching pad’s main peculiarity is the movable service tower which costed Europe 344 million Euros and was constructed by Russian specialists. The house of the rocket (let’s call it this way) has a weight of over 800 tons and protects the satellite from heavy rains which are very typical of that area (over 500 milimeters of precipitation may fall during just one day!).
Watch the video to see this ‘high-rise building’ in operation.
The ‘Company Mir’ won the tender (tendered by the governments of Russia and France) for designing, manufacture and installation of the movable tower. The location of the launching site in the equatorial zone (French Guiana) enables launching heavier satellites than Russain Baykonur and Plesetsk.
Projecting was made on a certificated software AUTODESK INVENTOR, Solid Works.
The ‘Company Mir’ has designed and constructed the following:
1. Movable service tower, which includes:
- supporting iron
- cover and roof
- North gate
- South gate
- auxiliary constructions
2. Gate and rotary ground control systems.
3. Gate and rotary ground control system checkout console.
4. Power supply.
Installation of the tower in Russia. Installation at a hight of 10 meters.
Installation at a hight of 18 meters.
Installation at a hight of 27 meters.
Manufacturing and installation of the tower in Guiana.
This is one of the ships which transports ‘Soyuz’ satellites from Russia to French Guiana. At first, rockets are transported from Samara to a port in St. Petersburg. After that they load them into specially designed ships which may contain up to two disassembled rockets, and deliver them to Guiana. It takes the ship from 11 to 15 days to reach the South America shore.
To deliver rockets to Kuru, they have designed and manufactured special hermetic containers, where certain temperature and humidity are kept. Apart from the rockets, they load tanks with kerosene for fuelling, upper-stage rockets (produced in Moscow) and iron-clad tanks with toxic fuel for them. Each rocket occupies 10 containers; also they load the same number of tanks with kerosine and 5 containers with special equipment with them.
In the picture: rocket pods at the port of St. Petersburg.
They are being loaded onto the ship.
‘Soyuz-ST’ in Guaina
Carrier rocket get delivered to space launching sites in Russia in units by train, which wagons look like regular post ones. Although delivery by plane seems more sensible for that, economically it is completely unsound.