Arianespace’s banner year in terms of launches and new contracts was highlighted at this week’s AIAA Space and Astronautics Forum and Exposition (AIAA SPACE).
Speaking on the event’s launcher panel, Clay Mowry – the president of Arianespace’s U.S. subsidiary – said the company remains on track for 12 missions in 2015, a record for its launch service operations.
Arianespace’s competitiveness will be maintained with the future introduction of Ariane 6, which is to succeed the company’s current Ariane 5 heavy-lift workhorse, Mowry said. Developed as a modular vehicle, two Ariane 6 versions will be available: Ariane 62 with two solid propellant boosters, and Ariane 64 with four boosters; thereby providing payload lift performance to meet a full range of commercial, scientific and institutional missions.
He noted that Arianespace’s medium-lift Soyuz has become a key member of the company’s launcher family since its 2011 introduction at the Spaceport in French Guiana, with this vehicle’s history of more than 1,845 flights and a sustained launch rate unmatched by any other vehicle.
The market for smaller satellites – which is addressed by Arianespace’s light-lift Vega launcher – continues to grow, but needs some standardization in interfaces and platforms as this segment continues to mature, Mowry added.