December 1979 remains a historic date for the CNES (National Centre for Space Studies) with the saga of Ariane, the Véronique, Diamond, Soyuz and Vega launches, and now Ariane 5, which have taken place over a period of 48 years and represent an ongoing success. In the 1960s, when France was forced to abandon its Algerian military bases, it chose French Guiana as its new launching pad into space, and on Christmas Eve, 1979, the carrier rocket Ariane 1 was successfully launched from this site, which has since proven itself to be the most efficient space centre in the world, famous for its modernity and innovation. As a result, the backlog of orbital launch systems is consistently full.
The three-hour tour visits the launch pads, the bunker, and the Jupiter control centre, where the ground control team oversee launches. If you are lucky, you may even witness ongoing operations for the next space mission launch!
Centre Spatial Guyanais
(Guiana Space Centre)
+594 (0)5 94 33 71 92