Author Topic: French Guyana protests - discussion and impact on launches  (Read 13370 times)

Offline eeergo

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It may be worthwhile to note the reasons the strikers are wielding, and how the CSG situation is part of a much larger unrest in French Guyana. Not being familiar with the situation, I've taken this article as reference (in French):

http://la1ere.francetvinfo.fr/mouvements-sociaux-blocage-du-centre-spatial-pourquoi-guyane-connait-tres-vive-tension-455827.html

- The CSG-centric strike is led by the ENDEL workers, protesting in relation to the yearly collective accord negotiations. These are joined by the transporters' union UGTR, protesting against their foreseen reduced role in the spaceport with Ariane 6.

- Access roads were also blocked by EDF UTG (with general grievances about unemployment, local hiring, labor conditions, training and safety and the future of the energetic policy in the territory) and the Toukans (healthcare union, protesting mainly for the perspectives for Kourou's healthcenter).

- The "500 brothers against delinquency" (500 frères contre la délinquance) is an organization that, reportedly, protests and acts regularly against the insecurity conditions in French Guyana. They have joined the protests since Monday, after they boycotted Minister Ségolène Royal's visit last Friday.

- In parallel, agricultural unions are protesting the alleged non-payment of subsidies and EU aids.

Concerns about Arianespace's schedule delays have reportedly been alluded to at the negotiating table, given the insistence on moving the protests away from the areas critical to CSG operation have backlashed, and caused the strikers to harden their blockades there.
« Last Edit: 04/07/2017 07:44 AM by jacqmans »
-DaviD-

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Confirmation of no new launch date:

Quote
Due to social movement, #VA236 launch will not occur this Thursday. New launch date ASAP. #Ariane5 & payloads are in safe, standby condition

https://twitter.com/arianespaceceo/status/844706676108398593

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Brief Arianespace update:

Quote
Ariane 5   March 23, 2017
Arianespace VA236: launch rescheduling

As the social movements does not allow the resumption of operations for the Ariane 5 launch scheduled for today, Thursday, March 23, Arianespace has decided to postpone the launch.

A new launch date will be announced as soon as possible.

The launch vehicle, with its SGDC and KOREASAT-7 satellite payloads, remain in a stand-by mode and are being maintained in fully safe conditions.

Arianespace Flight VA236 – which is scheduled to launch SGDC for Telebras S.A., performed within the framework of a contract with SGDC prime contractor VISIONA Tecnologia Espacial S.A.; and KOREASAT-7 for ktsat.

http://www.arianespace.com/mission-update/arianespace-va236-launch-rescheduling/

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DutchSpace‏ @DutchSpace 3m3 minutes ago

Update on #Kourou : Local people are telling me no roll-out before Monday,would mean earliest possible launch on the 28th #VA236

https://twitter.com/DutchSpace/status/844924192655073281

Offline jacqmans

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Offline russianhalo117

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I'm told that the strike on the space base started originally with crews working on the ELA-4 project and expanded to the whole space base. Strikes were already under way well before in the French territory.

Offline calapine

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It looks like the 28th has to be scratched as well:

Peter B. de Selding via Twitter
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The labor unrest in French Guiana, Europe's spaceport, is not improving. A general strike has been called for, starting Monday.
https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/845716942556221441

and further info from @dutchspace:

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@AuerSusan @pbdes its a continuation of the strike, also, negation team on the ground, but word is strikers refuse to negotiate with them
https://twitter.com/DutchSpace/status/845718733595258881
« Last Edit: 03/25/2017 06:31 PM by calapine »

Offline eeergo

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Peter de Sielding reporting in a series of tweets (starting here) some background and news into the strike-turned-general protest.


A new tidbit I hadn't heard before is the satellites' teams are stuck in Kourou, since the airport is closed, and protesters' roadblocks were only lifted on Sunday to allow people to replenish their food stocks, and were up again at 4 am today, as scheduled.


Apparently one of the demands from protesters to negotiate, after they refused to do so with an interministerial delegation, was the presence of the Prime Minister Bernard Cazenueve in French Guiana - he is now announcing the visit of one or more Ministers there "within this week".


This probably rules out launch until at least next week.
-DaviD-

Offline Alastor

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Given the way the situation is handled by politicians in French Guyana, il is very likely the social contest movement currently happening there may last up to a few weeks.

The blockade of the launch of Ariane5 being one of the most mediatic ressource at the hand of the protesters, it is likely as well that they will do anything to hold it for as long as they don't have satisfaction.

Given these contextual elements, The launch should be expected to be held by more than a few days. Possibly weeks.

Offline ZachS09

If this launch is delayed by a few more weeks, then this affects ViaSat 2 & Eutelsat 172B and possibly EuropaSat/Hellas Sat 3 & GSat 17.

I'm making this assumption due to the time Arianespace needs for a feasible turnaround between launches.
« Last Edit: 03/27/2017 04:35 PM by ZachS09 »
"Liftoff of Falcon 9: the world's first reflight of an orbital-class rocket."

Offline Archibald

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Ah. A strike. Now Kourou really feels like France

Because France has colonized French Guiana since 1503. They wanted to make that country like France since it's their territory.

Pff, how not funny :(

Guyana has a good reasons to go on strike. Compared to the French metropole it is too much of a neglected place, with very high youth uneployment rate, and pretty bad infrastructures. Rampant insecurity and consumer goods are expensives. Kourou mostly employes highly qualified people that come from the Metropole and not from Guyana itself.
It is a recurring, long standing issue with far away / overseas French territories  (Guadeloupe, Martinique and La Réunion).
« Last Edit: 03/29/2017 09:48 AM by Archibald »

Offline DT1

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A new tidbit I hadn't heard before is the satellites' teams are stuck in Kourou, since the airport is closed, and protesters' roadblocks were only lifted on Sunday to allow people to replenish their food stocks, and were up again at 4 am today, as scheduled.

As this will be the Lampoldshausen launcher, named for the 2016 presidency of the Community of Ariane Cities, the Mayor of Lampoldshausen and the director and vice director of DLR's Institute of Space Propulsion were in Kourou last week to watch the launch.

They were evacuated from the Guiana Space Center by helicopter to Kourou Airport and by a Transall military airplane to Cayenne Airport to get one of the last flights out of French Guiana back to Europe.

Photo by Hans Zeller, Arianespace:
« Last Edit: 03/29/2017 04:35 PM by DT1 »
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Offline input~2

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Europe's spaceport & much of rest of Fr Guiana remains closed after breakdown of negs between local pop & govt. Two weeks & counting...

https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/848797137965989889

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Europe's spaceport2/ Arianespace had forecast no launches in May, so bottleneck from 3-wk shutdown from strikes could be absorbed by June.

https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/848798546849562624

Offline Jester

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A new tidbit I hadn't heard before is the satellites' teams are stuck in Kourou, since the airport is closed, and protesters' roadblocks were only lifted on Sunday to allow people to replenish their food stocks, and were up again at 4 am today, as scheduled.

As this will be the Lampoldshausen launcher, named for the 2016 presidency of the Community of Ariane Cities, the Mayor of Lampoldshausen and the director and vice director of DLR's Institute of Space Propulsion were in Kourou last week to watch the launch.

They were evacuated from the Guiana Space Center by helicopter to Kourou Airport and by a Transall military airplane to Cayenne Airport to get one of the last flights out of French Guiana back to Europe.

Photo by Hans Zeller, Arianespace:

Having flown from Kourou airport, flying a transall in/out there is pretty rare afaik, do you know the exact date this took place ?

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Peter B de Selding has sent a whole series of tweets (starting here) on current political situation in French Guiana.

Obviously this isn't a political forum, but the key point is that the protestors are clearly trying to use the shutting down of the space centre as leverage. I could see this dragging on for quite some time so might not be any more launches for quite a while.

Offline kch

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Peter B de Selding has sent a whole series of tweets (starting here) on current political situation in French Guiana.

Obviously this isn't a political forum, but the key point is that the protestors are clearly trying to use the shutting down of the space centre as leverage. I could see this dragging on for quite some time so might not be any more launches for quite a while.

Maybe 2018?  (maybe later?)   :(

Offline edkyle99

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"“The French government is working very hard to find a solution, and I am very, very confident that we will resume with the launches in the coming days,” CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall said during an April 4 presentation at the 33rd Space Symposium ..."
http://spacenews.com/legall-confident-french-guiana-launches-will-resume-in-the-coming-days/

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Archibald

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Protesters are indeed occupying the spaceport so that their voices can be heard. Albeit the French government has promise to spend a couple of billion euros to upgrade Guyana infrastructures. Fact is there are actually slums all around the spaceport, in a stark contrast.

 As an example as how Guyana is ill treated, hospitals. While there are decent hospitals in French Guyana (fortunately !), there are a lot of case where the infrastructure is insuficient enough people have to be flown to La Guadeloupe or La Martinique for treatment... or even to the Metropole (!) at a great expense of time and money...

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"“The French government is working very hard to find a solution, and I am very, very confident that we will resume with the launches in the coming days,” CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall said during an April 4 presentation at the 33rd Space Symposium ..."
http://spacenews.com/legall-confident-french-guiana-launches-will-resume-in-the-coming-days/

 - Ed Kyle

Must be referring to this:

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Peter B. de Selding‏ @pbdes 3m3 minutes ago

Euro spaceport shutdown: 3 Fr ministers announce measures for Fr Guiana after ministerial council. Will strikers see them as sufficient?
https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/849570107089203200

Quote
Peter B. de Selding‏ @pbdes 2m2 minutes ago

Euro spaceport: ~30 sit-in demonstrators spent night at space ctr conf center awaiting Fr govt response to demands. They're still there.
https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/849570668773605376

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