An Arianes launch of four new satellites to Paris-Minsk, Moscow and Brussels has lifted the spirits of some Russian residents and visitors in the French capital.
The Soyuz rocket lifted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome at 4:35am local time (17:35 GMT), followed by the launch of the Soyuz-FG satellite, and the first of four Russian satellites on the Soyu.
The rocket lifted away from the Baikov-Soyuz Cosmodrom, a Russian-built rocket facility on the southern coast of the United States.
“Today’s launch of three Soyuz rockets was an important step forward in the peaceful cooperation between Russia and Europe,” Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said.
Russia’s Soyuz and Soyuz FG rockets, which have been used for launches of various foreign satellites, have flown over 1,500 times each, and Moscow is now looking to increase its number of launches.”
Russia and Europe will continue to build on their historic relations and cooperation, and we will always remain strong in this endeavour.”
Russia’s Soyuz and Soyuz FG rockets, which have been used for launches of various foreign satellites, have flown over 1,500 times each, and Moscow is now looking to increase its number of launches.
The launch was the second in a series of Russian launches, and is part of a programme of cooperation between the two countries.
Russia is also hoping to use the Soyum-1 launch vehicle to carry a pair of foreign space stations, but so far has not launched one.
Arianespacenews, a news portal run by ArianESO, said the Soyo-FG launch had been designed with the aim of boosting economic activity and boosting tourists in the region.
The flight was the first Soyuz mission to France since the Russian space agency Roscosmos launched its first crewed mission in January 2016, and marks the first time a Russian rocket has carried the mission of its European and Russian partners.
French President Emmanuel Macron welcomed the launch.
“We are happy that the Soyus-FG mission is taking place in France.
It’s the start of an important phase for our relationship, which is the cornerstone of France’s strategic interests,” Macron said in a statement.
The French government said it had been in contact with Russian officials on the project, and Roscosms officials had been briefed on the flight.
“Our government is fully committed to the continued cooperation with Russia and will ensure that this new partnership can be expanded,” a statement from the government said.
“The European Space Agency (ESA) is proud to launch the Soyur mission to Paris on December 14.
It is an amazing moment for France, and an example of our European partners working together to build the future of our planet,” the agency added.