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Feature story September 14, 2015

Arianespace looks to the future as it targets a record year of new business and launch operations in 2015

Arianespace remains on track for record operational and commercial performances in 2015, building on the company’s long-term commitment to meeting customer requirements with a capable launcher family offering mission flexibility, reliability and availability.

This was the message of Arianespace Chairman & CEO Stéphane Israël to international reporters during a press briefing today at the opening of the World Satellite Business Week event in Paris.

Chairman & CEO Stéphane Israël (at right) highlights Arianespace’s 2015 new business and launch achievements while meeting with reporters at today’s press conference, held in conjunction with the World Satellite Business Week event.

Chairman & CEO Stéphane Israël (at right) highlights Arianespace’s 2015 new business and launch achievements while meeting with reporters at today’s press conference, held in conjunction with the World Satellite Business Week event.

He said 13 launch services contracts already have been signed in 2015, involving all three members of the company’s launch vehicle family: the heavy-lift Ariane 5, medium-lift Soyuz and lightweight Vega.

Arianespace’s overall order book now incorporates 56 future missions to be performed for 35 customers, with additional contract signatures anticipated before year-end, Israël added .

A strong order book

The current Arianespace order book involves payloads to be lofted on 21 Ariane missions, along with 25 launches for Soyuz and 10 with Vega.

This new business further validates the capability of Arianespace’s launcher family in responding to a full range of customer requirements, Israël told reporters, and results in an equal division between the number of geostationary and non-geostationary payloads.  It also provides a balance of large and smaller satellites – an important element for the company’s match-up of payloads on dual-passenger Ariane 5 missions.

For Arianespace’s 2015 operations, Israël confirmed the goal of performing a record 12 missions this year at the service of international commercial customers and European institutions.

Four flights planned before year-end

Speaking with reporters at Arianespace’s press conference in Paris today, Chairman & CEO Stéphane Israël outlined the company’s contracts signed in 2015 and detailed its launch planning through year-end.

Speaking with reporters at Arianespace’s press conference in Paris today, Chairman & CEO Stéphane Israël outlined the company’s contracts signed in 2015 and detailed its launch planning through year-end.

Building on the eight successful launches already achieved in 2015 (four conducted with Ariane 5, two utilizing Soyuz, and two with Vega), the company has scheduled the following four flights before year-end:

  • Two Ariane 5 missions with geostationary-orbit telecommunications satellites, launching the Australian Sky Muster and Argentinian ARSAT-2 payloads on September 30, and another liftoff scheduled for November 5 with Arabsat 6B and GSAT-15,
  • A Vega mission in late November, which will place the European Space Agency’s Lisa Pathfinder space science mission on a trajectory to deep space, and
  • A Soyuz flight to medium-Earth orbit, targeted for mid-December with two more European Galileo navigation satellites.

A roadmap for the future

During his briefing to reporters today, Israël spoke about Europe’s long-term vision for its continued access to space, which includes this year’s go-aheads for a next-generation Ariane 6 and an evolved Vega C version.  These steps are part of a roadmap that will maintain Arianespace’s competitiveness in a changing marketplace, he added.

Israël also addressed Arianespace’s ability to accommodate satellite constellations of the future, many of which are envisioned to involve large numbers of very small-sized (“micro”) spacecraft.  He said a “micro launcher” – capable of deploying constellation payloads of approximately 300 kg. to low Earth orbits – could be of interest as a potential addition to the company’s launch vehicle portfolio.

“We are ready to listen to the market as concepts for such constellations take shape, and Arianespace is open to discussions on possible launch services solutions complementary to our launcher family,” Israël concluded.  “The space sector has a role to play in meeting demands of increased connectivity for those already connected, and to connect those who currently do not have access.”

  • For more information on Arianespace’s participation during World Satellite Business Week 2015, read the press release.
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