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Spaceports Around the World:

Europe's South American Spaceport

The Americas spaceports map On December 24, 1979, European Space Agency became the seventh to launch an artificial moon to orbit above Earth. The satellite was named CAT. It rode atop a rocket called Ariane in a launch from Kourou, French Guiana.

Today, the European Space Agency fires space rockets from the Kourou space launch complex known as Centre Spatial Guyanais. CSG is owned by the French national space agency, CNES.

It is used by the European Space Agency (ESA) and its commercial space launch arm Arianespace to blast ESA's Ariane rockets to space.

CSG is one of the most favorable sites for launches of satellites to geostationary orbit. Kourou's position near the equator offers an advantage over Cape Canaveral for eastbound launches. French Guiana's coastline permits launches into both equatorial and polar Sun-synchronous orbits.

Hundreds of sounding rockets and balloons and space satellites have been launches from Centre Spatial Guyanais.

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