Press Release

Arianespace expresses thanks to ESA member states

By SpaceRef Editor
May 28, 2003
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Following the ministerial level meeting of the European Space Agency Council, Arianespace thanked ESA members and announced that it was pleased with the measures taken at the meeting.

The measures taken at the ESA Council meeting fully comply with the recommendations submitted by the Arianespace Board of Directors.  On April 24, the Board approved in principle the Ariane 5 support plan, and then on May 23 came out in favor of Arianespace operating the Soyuz launcher.

The decisions taken by ESA member states will guarantee the long-term viability of the company.

The Ariane 5 support program will enable the qualification of the most powerful version of the launcher, the Ariane 5-ECA, increase government use of Ariane 5, and reorganize the launcher industry by setting up closer links between production and development.

Furthermore, the collaboration established withRussia will enable Arianespace to operate the Soyuz launcher from the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport.

These decisions will enable Arianespace to meet all customer requirements by offering a range of launchers – Ariane, Soyuz and Vega – covering all commercial and government mission requirements. In addition, the decisions by ESA will bolster the quality of customer service offered by the company, and therefore its market position, which benefits the entire European space industry.

About Arianespace

Arianespace is the commercial launch services leader, holding more than 50 percent of the international market for satellites launched to geostationary transfer orbit (GTO).  Created in 1980 as the world’s first commercial space transportation company, Arianespace has signed contracts for the launch of more than 250 satellite payloads.  For further information, see the Arianespace Web site at


SpaceRef staff editor.