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Launching of a Soyouz rocket, in Baïkonour.
Crédit : CNES / STARSEM

The range of available launchers for a "small mission" is limited due to considerations of size, performance, and cost.

SOYOUZ is the most used rocket in the world. Its capacity in low orbit starts at 7,5 tons. It is 49 meters high and weights about 310 tons.

  • Its first floor is made up of 4 lateral accelerators, which are 19,8 meters high, propeled by liquid ergol engines (kerosene and oxygen) which produce a pressure of 102 tons per accelerator.
  • Its second floor (center of the launcher) is 28 meters high. Its engine produces a pressure of 96 tons.
  • Its third floor is 8,1 meters high, with a diameter of 2,66 meters, and produces a pressure of 30 tons.
  • At lift-off, the first and second floors switch on simultaneously.

The CoRoT launcher is a Soyouz rocket version, built in Samara by the STARSEM company, which handles its marketing and exploitation.

The shareholders of STARSEM are Arianespace, EADS, The Russian Space and Aeronautics Agency, and the Samara Space Center.

The launching will take place in Baïkonour, Kazakhstan.