Starsem and its Russian partners announce the 1655th successful launch
of the Soyuz from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Lift-off occurred
Wednesday, January 24th at 9:28 a.m. Baikonur local time, 5:28 a.m. in
Paris. The Progress vessel, which was the payload for this launch, was
accurately placed on the target orbit.This first Soyuz launch in 2001
was the 59th consecutive successful launch in the Soyuz launch vehicle
family. 8 of these 59 successes were manned flights. 9 additional Soyuz
launches are planned during the year from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

This sustained
launch rate confirms the position of the Soyuz as one of the principal
launch vehicles in the world. Further, this rate demonstrates the continuous
production capacity of the Samara Space Center and the operational capacity
of the Baikonur launch teams, under the authority of the Russian Aviation
and Space Agency.

(Russian Aviation and Space Agency – 25%, Samara Space Center – 25%,
EADS – 35%, Arianespace – 15%) offers the Soyuz launch vehicle on the
international commercial market, concentrating primarily on the Soyuz-Fregat
and Soyuz/ST configurations.

The Starsem
manifest currently includes contracted launches for Alcatel Space Industries
(SkyBridge), the European Space Agency (Mars Express) and Eumetsat (Metop).