There is no information to confirm or deny that the spacecraft successfully separated from the booster rocket. It could take up several hours to establish the exact situation, reports Associated Press, citing a spokeswoman for the Lavochkin institute involved in the project.
A Volna booster rocket launched the unmanned spacecraft from a submerged Russian submarine in the northern Barents Sea at 11:46 p.m. Moscow time (1946GMT) on Tuesday.
The aim is for streams of solar energy particles to push a giant, reflecting sail through space the way wind propels sailboats across water.
France is used to terminating large-scale contracts, as that was the case of the Russian-French deal on Mistral helicopter carriers