In what has become an annual tradition, Arianespace once again underscored its readiness to support Japanese satellite operators with guaranteed access to space during its Japan Week activities in Tokyo, which included meetings of Chairman & CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall with customers and the press.
Arianespace Chairman & CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall speaks to Japanese reporters at the Tokyo press conference.
In his annual press conference with the media, Le Gall reinforced the company’s ability to meet the launch requirements of Japanese satellite operators, utilizing a family of launch vehicles that offers a complete range of payload lift capabilities: the heavy-lift Ariane 5, medium Soyuz vehicle and lightweight Vega. The venerable Soyuz launcher will join ongoing Ariane 5 operations from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana later this year, with Vega’s commercial service entry scheduled for 2012.
Arianespace has established a track record of cooperation and success with Japan, during which the company has won 27 of the country’s 36 total launch contracts open to competition – representing a market share of 75 percent.
Arianespace’s order book currently includes two Japanese satellites for future missions: BSAT-3c/JCSAT-100R, which will deliver direct TV broadcast links and telecommunications services; and JCSAT-13 for broadcasting/telecommunications services across Japan and the Asia-Pacific region.
JCSAT-13 is the 17th spacecraft entrusted to Arianespace by long-time customer SKY Perfect JSAT, marking the latest step in a relationship that dates back to the orbiting of Japan’s first commercial satellite – JCSAT-1 – in March 1989.
In addition, Arianespace has supported the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) by lofting the LDREX-1 and LDREX-2 antenna reflector experiments in 2000 and 2006, respectively.