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Friday, November 30, 2012

Soyuz readied for lift-off at French Guiana; Launch Reset for Dec 1, 2012 9:02 PM-ET

UPDATE: An anomaly occurred during the final chronology for Flight VS04 – Pléiades 1B, thus halting the count-down. A new launch attempt is slated on the night of Saturday 1st at 9:02 PM ET December, 2012. Details on re-set forthcoming. Twitter updates.

Liftoff of the Soyuz on November 30, 2012 is set for a precise moment—11:02:50 p.m. local time (in French Guiana—initiating a 55-minute mission to deploy Pléiades 1B in a 695km. circular orbit, inclined 98.2 degrees. The launch of Arianespace's next medium-lift mission has been equipped with its Pleiades 1B observation satellite passenger at the ELS launch complex.
 
Readers may watch the night launch HERE at 9:02:50 p.m. EST Washington.
 
With a fueled mass of approximately 1 metric ton, the dual-use Pléiades 1B spacecraft will provide optical imaging coverage for French and European defense ministries, institutions and civil users. It is to join the twin Pléiades 1A satellite launched last December 2011 by Arianespace on Soyuz’ second mission from the Spaceport.

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