September 27, 2022

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The Russians leave the Kourou space base and refill their missiles

The French space agency has announced that Russian crews at the French space base in Guerrero (Guyana) will leave the site.

The French space agency CNES on Wednesday announced the “quick, safe and supervised” departure of Russians from the Kourou space base in Guyana following the suspension of missiles decided by Moscow.

In response to EU sanctions against Russia following the invasion of Ukraine, the Russian space agency Roscosmos on Saturday announced the withdrawal of its space missiles from Kourou and its technical staff – a total of 87 people.

The CNES (National Space Research Organization), which manages the European space base in Courou, “has implemented procedures that allow current Russian engineers and technicians to make quick, safe and supervised departures,” he wrote in a statement. .

Preference for European launchers

The Guyana Space Center has been operating the Russian Soyuz missile since 2011 as part of an intergovernmental agreement. By 2022, the rocket will launch three launches: two to the European navigation galaxy Galileo and one to the French spy satellite CSO-3.

According to CNES, “the immediate arrival of the new Vega-C and Ariane 6 launchers makes it possible to reconsider European corporate releases as an alternative to Soyuz”.

The space agency says it is “seriously considering” the consequences of the Ukrainian crisis in space cooperation programs with Russia.

“Although drastically reduced in recent years, some bilateral joint science projects are still in progress, especially in the field of space medicine at the International Space Station (ISS),” CNES recalls.

Soyuz repainted

“With regard to projects being carried out within the framework of the ESA (European Space Agency), the activities of the ISS continue with the involvement of all partners in the station,” he added.

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On Monday, the ESA announced that the launch of the Russian-European space flight ExoMars in September 2022 was “highly unlikely” due to the Ukraine crisis.

On Twitter, the most controversial boss of the Russian space agency posted a video showing teams unfurling Western flags on the Russian Soyuz launcher.