Arianespace, the world leader
Evry, January 8, 2008
Founded in 1980, Arianespace was the world's first commercial launch service company. In 2007, Arianespace confirmed its position as the world's leading launch Service & Solutions provider.
2007, a record breaking year
Six Ariane 5 launches, three Soyuz launches, 21 payloads and over 50 tons in orbit
In 2007, Arianespace launched six Ariane 5s, orbiting 12 of the 15 commercial communications satellites successfully launched into geostationary orbit during the year.
Arianespace subsidiary Starsem carried out three successful Soyuz launches from the Baikonur cosmodrome, orbiting eight satellites for the Globalstar constellation, plus the Radarsat-2 satellite.
With 36 successful launches, including 22 in a row, Europe's Ariane 5 launcher has amply proven its technical maturity. Ariane 5 is the only commercial launcher now on the market capable of launching two payloads at once, thereby delivering greater performance, flexibility and competitiveness to all Arianespace customers.
Since its inception in 1980, Arianespace has signed over 290 launch contracts with 65 international operators, and has launched nearly two-thirds of the satellites in orbit today.
Arianespace now offers a complete family of European launchers, comprising Ariane 5, Soyuz and Vega. Its organizational structure is very clearly defined, with industry manufacturing the launchers and Arianespace responsible for the entire launch process, from signing contracts to orbital injection of the satellites.
Arianespace signed 13 new Service & Solutions contracts for launches into geostationary orbit in 2007, and four more contracts for launches into low Earth orbit (LEO). Arianespace has the largest launch order book in the industry:
- 24 launches into geostationary orbit, using Ariane 5 and possible Soyuz for the smaller spacecraft.
- 11 government launches using Ariane 5, including nine launches of the ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle) cargo vessel to the International Space Station.
- 8 dedicated Soyuz launches (2 in Baikonur, 6 from the Guiana Space Center).
A healthy financial situation
Arianespace will post sales of approximately 940 million euros in 2007, with income at the break-even point for the fifth year in a row. Starsem had sales of about 90 million euros, and income was also at the break-even point.
2008, a year of challenges
Increased launch rate
Seven to eight Ariane 5 launches are planned in 2008, including the launch of the first ATV, the "Jules Verne", the scientific payloads Herschel, Planck and TerreStar 1, the largest geostationary commercial communications satellite ever placed in orbit.
Starsem is planning a Soyuz launch for Giove-B, the second demonstration satellite for the Galileo constellation.
Soyuz and Vega at the Guiana Space Center
Civil engineering work on the Soyuz launch complex at the Guiana Space Center is nearly completed, and the Russian-built infrastructure components will be installed in French Guiana in 2008.
The ELA-1 launch pad is being revamped for the new light launcher Vega, including the installation of a mobile crane. The second firing test of Vega's P-80 first stage took place on December 4 in French Guiana and was a complete success.
Both Soyuz and Vega are scheduled to start commercial service from the Guiana Space Center in 2009.
Meeting tomorrow's challenges
Arianespace will continue to meet new challenges in 2008.
Building on its status as the world leader, Arianespace will continue to develop innovative solutions to deliver leading-edge launch Service & Solutions to its customers.
Highlights this year will include the first ATV mission to the International Space Station, preparations for Soyuz and Vega launcher operations at the Guiana Space Center, and continuous improvements to keep pace with evolving market requirements (launches into geostationary orbit, the Galileo constellation, the James Webb Space Telescope and much more).