Press Release

Arianespace: Ongoing Success, New Records

By SpaceRef Editor
June 16, 2009
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Arianespace, the world’s first launch Service & Solutions company, created in 1980, confirms its world leadership at the 48th Paris Air Show.

Impressive facts & figures

Arianespace successfully launched six Ariane 5 and one Soyuz rocket in 2008, boosting 11 satellites into orbit. It also launched the first Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), the Jules Verne, to the International Space Station (ISS). Counting all launches, Arianespace placed nearly 65 metric tons into orbit last year.

Despite the global economic crisis Arianespace enjoyed a remarkable year, as it signed 13 contracts out of the total of 18 open to competition, clearly confirming its world leadership position.

Arianespace posted sales of O955.7 million in 2008, with net income of O2.5 million (the sixth year in a row that Arianespace finished in the black).

With 30 successful launches in a row, the Ariane 5 launcher continued to confirm its technical maturity. Ariane 5 is the only commercial launcher on the market capable of simultaneously launching two payloads, to give Arianespace customers outstanding performance, flexibility and competitiveness.

The objective for 2009 is to carry out seven Ariane 5 launches. The launcher has already completed two successful missions, on February 12 and May 14. The next Ariane launch is scheduled for July 1: an Ariane 5 ECA will boost TerreStar-1, the largest communications satellite ever built, into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO).

Since the beginning of the year, Arianespace has won ten new GTO launch contracts (Hispasat 1E, Arabsat 5C & Badr 7, Yamal 401 & 402, Intelsat New Dawn, JCSAT-13, Alphasat I-XL, ST-2, et ABS-2) and two contracts for launches into medium Earth orbit, or MEO (2 Soyuz launches from French Guiana to launch four Galileo IOV satellites).

Building on its family of launchers, Arianespace now has a significant backlog of launch contracts from 30 different customers:

* 35 satellites to be launched into geostationary transfer orbit, using Ariane 5, or Soyuz for the smaller satellites.
* 7 government launches by Ariane 5, including 6 for the ATV.
* 9 dedicated Soyuz launches.

A Guaranteed independant access to space for Europe

On January 30, 2009, Arianespace signed a contract with EADS Astrium for the production of 35 Ariane 5 ECA launchers, designated the “PB” batch. At the Paris Air Show this year, Arianespace announced the signature of contracts for payload adapters and fairings with RUAG Aerospace Sweden, EADS CASA Espacio and Oerlikon Space.

These contracts clearly confirm the commitment of Arianespace and the entire European space industry to guarantee the long-term availability, reliability and competitiveness of Ariane 5.

The report on European space recently submitted to the French prime minister confirms that Europe’s independent access to space is inextricably linked with commercial success. The successor to Ariane 5 will also have to integrate market requirements, allowing Arianespace to retain its global leadership.

Arianespace also signed an agreement with the European Space Agency at this year’s Paris Air Show, defining the conditions for the procurement of launch services by ESA and favoring a European solution for these launches.

Soyuz and Vega: two new launch systems

Integration of the mobile gantry will start in August, and system tests are slated from June to October.

The first two Soyuz launchers will arrive in French Guiana in November, and the first launch is scheduled for the first few weeks of 2010.

A total of 14 Soyuz launchers have been ordered, so that operations from the Guiana Space Center can kick off with availability to meet market expectations, underscored by the recent signature of new contracts.

Refurbishment of the ELA-1 launch pad for the Vega light launcher is nearly finished, including the initial rolling tests of the mobile gantry.

Each of the three solid propulsion stages has successfully passed two static firing tests prior to launch.

Vega is scheduled to enter service at the Guiana Space Center in 2010.


Aaron Lewis
Director of Media and Government Relations
Arianespace, Inc.
601 13th Street NW
Suite 710 North
Washington, DC 20005

please note my new email address:

SpaceRef staff editor.