Press Release

Arianespace looks to the future with its “services and solutions” approach to the space launch business

By SpaceRef Editor
December 20, 2006
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Arianespace is ready to support the commercial satellite sector in 2007 and beyond with its “services and solutions” promise, and the company also remains committed to the exploration of space through international cooperation.

These were the main messages of Arianespace CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall, who addressed invited guests the company’s year-end holiday party this evening in Washington, D.C. The annual event, held at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery, was attended by Arianespace customers and partners, U.S. government officials, the international space industry and representatives from countries involved in the Ariane program.

“By expanding our family of launch vehicles, by providing the maturity of the Ariane 5 heavy-lift launcher and maintaining a higher launch cadence, we will continue to give satellite innovators and entrepreneurs the tools they need for success,” Le Gall said.

He noted that in the 26 years since its creation, Arianespace helped the start-up of 26 fledgling satellite companies by providing access to space for their first spacecraft, and 2006 was no exception – particularly in the U.S.

“Six weeks ago, we signed a contract with the American start-up company TerreStar to launch its first satellite, TerreStar I, which will create a new generation of mobile communications services for North America,” Le Gall explained. “And only 11 days ago, Arianespace launched WildBlue-1 for WildBlue Communications, whose revolutionary connectivity will bring high speed Internet to parts of America’s heartland for the first time.”

Arianespace’s “services and solution” business approach – which provides a comprehensive, and competitive, package of commercial launch services – also preserves and extends the achievements of established players in the marketplace. In 2006, Ariane 5 missions added satellites to the fleets of DIRECTV and SES AMERICOM, expanding the reach of digital TV and television channel offerings within the United States.

Le Gall noted that during the past year, seven of the 10 telecommunications orbited by Ariane 5 were built by U.S. manufacturers, and three of them were orbited for American-based operators. “2006 was another excellent year for Arianespace, and I am particularly proud of the support that we provided to the U.S. satellite market,” he said.

Looking to the future, Arianespace is to expand its contributions to international space exploration, which will be highlighted in 2007 with Ariane 5’s launch of the first Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) supply spacecraft to the International Space Station. “The ATV mission perfectly underscores the message of this holiday season: by continuing the tradition of cooperation, we can draw the world closer to realizing our hopes for a better future through space exploration,” Le Gall concluded.

SpaceRef staff editor.