Photos: Soyuz rolls to new launch pad

A Soyuz rocket is perched atop a brand new launch pad in the South American jungle for liftoff Thursday morning with a pair of European Galileo navigation satellites. The flight is the first for the venerable Russian rocket from French Guiana, the launch site for the Ariane rocket family.

Russia and Europe are opening the new Soyuz launch site to allow the rocket to better compete for commercial and European institutional missions. Launching closer to the equator gives the Soyuz a boost in performance.

The rollout occurred Friday at approximately 7 a.m. local time.

Photo credit: Stephane Corvaja/ESA


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