Dmitry Rogozin, Director General of the Roscosmos State Corporation, proposed upgrading the Soyuz launch complex in French Guiana to a manned level. He wrote about this in his Telegram channel.
“I believe that at the moment it is important for Russia and Europe to find new areas and areas for cooperation. One of such projects could be the retrofitting of the Soyuz launch complex in French Guiana to a manned level,” wrote the head of Roscosmos.
According to him, such a move would allow European countries to save “billions of euros”, and the European astronautics would be able to “quickly enter the club of space powers with all the competencies in manned flights.”
“If European astronauts want to be able to get to the ISS on their own, then using the proven, most reliable Soyuz MS manned spacecraft with an equally reliable rocket of the Soyuz-2 family from the French cosmodrome in Kourou by a European launch crew trained by our specialists is I think it’s a great idea,” he said.
The Guiana Space Center is a European spaceport located near the city of Kourou in French Guiana. According to Roskosmos, its location near the equator provides a 15% advantage in payload compared to launches eastward from the American space center at Cape Canaveral and 40% from launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. In October 2021, Rogozin announced that Russia could transfer part of the rocket launches to the Kourou cosmodrome as part of the federal space program.