Soyuz launch site construction
A simulated launch campaign took place at Europe's Spaceport, French Guiana, on 29 April-5 May 2011. This dry run ensured that the Soyuz and the new facilities work together perfectly, while allowing the teams to train under realistic launch conditions. It also validated all the procedures during the final phase before launch, except the fuelling of the vehicle. The vehicle was transferred from the preparation building to the launch zone and erected into the vertical position. The mobile gantry was then rolled out to the pad and the vehicle's upper composite, comprising the Fregat upper stage and payload fairing, was hoisted on top of the launcher. The campaign ended with a simulated liftoff and flight downrange.