Press Release

Arianespace at the 2003 Paris Air Show: Update and Outlook

By SpaceRef Editor
June 16, 2003
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Le Bourget, France, June 16, 2003 – Arianespace CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall
provided an update on the company’s activities during a press conference
today at the Paris Air Show.

Leadership maintained in a difficult commercial context
Arianespace successfully maintained its leadership position in the
commercial geostationary launch market during 2002 despite intensified
competition, which was made even more difficult by the increasing scarcity
of new business.

In 2002, Arianespace signed 11 launch contracts out of the total 15 competed
on the world market.

The company’s backlog as of June 16, 2003 was 40 satellites to be launched
(including nine missions with the Automated Transfer Vehicle for the
International Space Station). Since the creation of Arianespace in March
1980, the company has inked orders for the launch of a total 252 payloads.

2002: A record operating performance
With 12 launches that placed 16 satellites in orbit during 2002,
Arianespace’s operational and production levels matched the company’s highs
of 1997 and 2000.

The launch campaign activity included preparations for the maiden mission of
the Ariane 5 "10-tonne" version (Flight 157), a task requiring constant
reactivity of the Arianespace industrial and operational teams – along with
those of its industrial partners.

2003: Five satellites and an interplanetary probe already orbited
Arianespace had its third successful launch in 2003 on June 11, orbiting two
telecommunications satellites.

This latest success comes two months after the previous Ariane 5 flight –
which also orbited a dual-satellite payload, and less than 10 days after
Starsem’s successful commercial Soyuz mission with the European Space
Agency’s Mars Express spacecraft. Prior to these missions, the 116th and
final Ariane 4 flight was performed on February15.

Arianespace: A competitive edge for Europe
On May 27, a ministerial-level ESA Council meeting approved the Ariane
system’s consolidation and the construction of a Soyuz launch pad at the
Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport. These decisions give Arianespace
the means to operate a full range of launch vehicles that respond to all
client requirements. The measures also will enable Arianespace to
consolidate its world leadership position on the commercial launch market.

SpaceRef staff editor.