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Coat of arms of Kourou Location of the commune of Kourou in the French Guiana department
region French Guiana
Department French Guiana
Arrondissement Cayenne
Community association Savanes
Coordinates 5 ° 9 ′  N , 52 ° 39 ′  W Coordinates: 5 ° 9 ′  N , 52 ° 39 ′  W
height 0-342 m
surface 2,160.00 km 2
Residents 25,685 (January 1, 2017)
Population density 12 inhabitants / km 2
Post Code 97310
INSEE code
Website http://www.kourou.info/

Church in Kourou

Kourou is a town with 25,685 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2017) in the French overseas department of French Guiana , about 60 km northwest of the capital Cayenne on the coast of the Atlantic in northern South America .


Kourou is a center of local tourism and is mainly due to the out-of-city spaceport Guiana Space Center of ESA become known.


There is no public transport in Kourou. Trips to other cities are only possible with private vehicles or shared taxis .

To neighboring islands

For excursions to the nearby Îles du Salut archipelago , a few private boats are available in the port of Kourou, which visit the islands daily, depending on the weather.


The Kourou rocket launch site was built in 1965. It was supposed to replace the Hammaguir rocket launch site (in Algeria , at about 31 ° north), which had to be abandoned for political reasons. From the end of the 1960s, French sounding rockets and the Diamant satellite carrier were launched from Kourou . A failed attempt to launch the Europa-2 rocket also took place here. The first Ariane was launched on December 24, 1979 . Until mid-February 2003, Ariane 4 and 5 rockets were launched, and since then only Ariane 5 rockets have been launched from Kourou. Since 2011, the operating company Arianespace has also launched Russian Soyuz rockets and the smaller European Vega rocket from Kourou. The first two Galileo satellites were launched here on October 21, 2011 . Kourou was chosen mainly because of its location close to the equator (around 5 ° north), since here the highest circumferential speed of the earth favors reaching an orbit .


Old signal tower in Kourou (Dreyfus Tower), was used to communicate with the Devil's Islands
View of the beach on Avenue des Roches, at the
hotel of the same name

In the vicinity of Kourou is the Devil's Island , which was known in earlier times for the French prisoner colony there and above all for the novel " Papillon ". In addition, Alfred Dreyfus and the last German prisoner of war of the First World War, Alfons Paoli Schwartz , served their imprisonment there.

sons and daughters of the town


  • Ralf Butscher: Large train station on the equator. In: Image of Science. 1/2005, pp. 88-93, ISSN  0006-2375

Web links

Commons : Kourou  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Galileo IOV launch. esa.int, October 22, 2011, accessed October 24, 2011 .