The 1694th flight of a Soyuz launch vehicle was performed Tuesday, March 1, 2005 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 0:09 a.m. Baikonur time (8:09 p.m. Paris time on Monday, February 28, 2005).

Starsem, Arianespace and their Russian partners report that the Progress spacecraft was accurately placed on the target orbit for another service mission to the ISS. This was the first Soyuz family mission in 2005. Last year, Soyuz was launched 9 times with 100% success. Twelve Soyuz flights are planned for 2005.

Soyuz sustained launch rate confirms its position as one of the world’s primary launch vehicles. This rate also demonstrates Samara Space Center’s continuous production capacity, as well as the operational capability of launch teams at Baikonur under the authority of the Russian Federal Space Agency. With the introduction of the Soyuz at CSG, this famed Russian launch vehicle becomes an integral part of the European launcher fleet, together with the heavy-lift Ariane 5 and the lightweight Vega. To be offered exclusively by Arianespace to the commercial market, the Soyuz at CSG is Europe’s reference medium-class launch vehicle for governmental and commercial missions.

Starsem is the Soyuz Company, bringing together all key players involved in the production, operation and international commercial marketing of the world’s most versatile launch vehicle. Shareholders in Starsem are Arianespace, EADS, the Russian Federal Space Agency and the Samara Space Center. The Starsem manifest for Soyuz missions currently includes contracted launches for the European Space Agency, Eumetsat and PanAmSat.