Arianespace at the 2003 Paris Air Show: Update and Outlook
Le Bourget, France, June 16, 2003
Arianespace CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall provided an update on the company's activities during a press conference today at the Paris Air Show.
Leadership maintained in a difficult commercial context
Arianespace successfully maintained its leadership position in the commercial geostationary launch market during 2002 despite intensified competition, which was made even more difficult by the increasing scarcity of new business.
In 2002, Arianespace signed 11 launch contracts out of the total 15 competed on the world market.
The company's backlog as of June 16, 2003 was 40 satellites to be launched (including nine missions with the Automated Transfer Vehicle for the International Space Station). Since the creation of Arianespace in March 1980, the company has inked orders for the launch of a total 252 payloads.
2002: A record operating performance
With 12 launches that placed 16 satellites in orbit during 2002, Arianespace's operational and production levels matched the company's highs of 1997 and 2000.
The launch campaign activity included preparations for the maiden mission of the Ariane 5 "10-tonne" version (Flight 157), a task requiring constant reactivity of the Arianespace industrial and operational teams - along with those of its industrial partners.
2003: Five satellites and an interplanetary probe already orbited
Arianespace had its third successful launch in 2003 on June 11, orbiting two telecommunications satellites.
This latest success comes two months after the previous Ariane 5 flight - which also orbited a dual-satellite payload, and less than 10 days after Starsem's successful commercial Soyuz mission with the European Space Agency's Mars Express spacecraft. Prior to these missions, the 116th and final Ariane 4 flight was performed on February15.
Arianespace: A competitive edge for Europe
On May 27, a ministerial-level ESA Council meeting approved the Ariane system's consolidation and the construction of a Soyuz launch pad at the Guiana Space Center, Europe's Spaceport. These decisions give Arianespace the means to operate a full range of launch vehicles that respond to all client requirements. The measures also will enable Arianespace to consolidate its world leadership position on the commercial launch market.
For additional news from the Paris Air Show, see our updates: