Time between launches will be decreased at European spaceport

Europe’s Arianespace commercial launch consortium agreed to spend 36.5 million euros ($50 million) to build a fueling facility at Europe’s spaceport in Kourou to reduce the time needed between launches of the heavy-lift Ariane 5, medium-lift Soyuz and light-class Vega vehicles.

The building is scheduled to be operational in 2015. CNES (French space agency) owns the property to be used for the new facility, which will be located at the Soyuz launch installation.

Arianespace will use its own funds for construction of the 1,152-square-meter facility, and has agreed that 60 percent of the work will be contracted with local industry.

The company said the new fueling facility, once completed, will be used to fill the Soyuz rocket’s Fregat upper stage and allow Arianespace to free up capacity at the existing S3B building for Ariane 5, Soyuz and Vega operations.

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