Coordinates: 5°13′20″N 52°46′25″W / 5.22222°N 52.77361°W / 5.22222; -52.77361

Centre Spatial Guyanais
Guiana Space Centre logo.svg
Entrée du Centre Spatial Guyanais.jpg
Sign at the entrance to the Guiana Space Centre
Agency overview
Formed14 April 1964 (1964-04-14)
JurisdictionGovernment of France
HeadquartersKourou, French Guiana, France
Employees1,525 direct (2011)
7,500 indirect (2011)
Agency executive
  • Didier Faivre, director
Parent agencyESA/CNES
Map of Guiana Space Centre

The Guiana Space Centre (French: Centre Spatial Guyanais; CSG) is a French and European spaceport to the northwest of Kourou in French Guiana, a region of France in South America. Operational since 1968, it is particularly suitable as a location for a spaceport. It fulfills the two major geographical requirements of such a site:

  • It is near the equator, so that less energy is required to manoeuvre a spacecraft into an equatorial, geostationary orbit. Rockets launch to the east to take advantage of the angular momentum provided by Earth's rotation.
  • It has open sea to the east, so that lower stages of rockets and debris from launch failures are unlikely to fall on human habitations.

The European Space Agency (ESA), the French space agency CNES (National Centre for Space Studies), and the commercial companies Arianespace and Azercosmos conduct launches from Kourou.[1][2][3] This was the spaceport used by the ESA to send supplies to the International Space Station using the Automated Transfer Vehicle.