Photos: Soyuz launches French military satellite

Check out imagery from Arianespace and the French space agency showing the launch of a Russian Soyuz rocket Dec. 29 from the Guiana Space Center in South America.

The Soyuz ST-A rocket and Fregat upper stage delivered the French military’s CSO 2 optical reconnaissance satellite to an orbit around 300 miles (480 kilometers) above Earth after blasting off from the French Guiana spaceport at 11:42 a.m. EST (1642 GMT; 1:42 p.m. local time) on Dec. 29.

The CSO 2 satellite, built by Airbus with an optical telescope from Thales Alenia Space, is designed to provide very high resolution images to the French Armed Forces.

Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG – P. Piron

Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG – P. Piron

Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG – P. Piron

Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG – P. Piron

Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG – P. Piron

Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG – P. Piron

Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG – P. Piron

Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG

Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG – P. Piron

Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG – P. Piron

Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG – P. Piron

Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG – P. Piron

Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG – P. Piron

Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG – P. Piron

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