Arianespace Board of Directors meets: Three more Ariane 5 launches in 2010
The Board of Directors of Arianespace met on Monday, September 20, 2010 in Evry, near Paris. The Board approved the launch manifest for 2010 and 2011, congratulated the company on its record order book, and started operations to strengthen its financial structure.
With 38 successful launches in a row, and more than seven years without a failure, Ariane 5 continues to confirm its operational maturity, launch after launch. Three Ariane 5 launches have already been successfully completed in 2010, and the next launch has been confirmed for Wednesday, October 28, carrying the Eutelsat W3B and B-SAT Corp. BSAT-3b satellites. Preparations of the satellites will start this week at the Guiana Space Center. The next two launches are scheduled by the end of the year, and will orbit four more geostationary satellites.
The first Ariane 5 launch in 2011 – which will be the 200th Ariane mission – will boost into orbit the Johannes Kepler ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle) cargo vessel on a date compatible with the docking slots for the International Space Station (ISS), to be decided by ISS partners. This date will be guaranteed no matter what the schedule is for other Ariane 5 launches, thus confirming the versatility of the European launch system.
Arianespace and subsidiary Starsem will use the Soyuz launcher to orbit six Globalstar-2 satellites on October 19, 2010 from the Cosmodrome in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. The first launch of a Soyuz rocket from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana is set for the spring of 2011.
The first launch of the new Vega light launcher is expected next year as well.
Record order book
Since its founding, Arianespace has signed more than 300 launch Service & Solutions contracts with 77 customers, and has launched 283 satellites, representing more than half of all the commercial satellites now in service worldwide.
Since the beginning of the year Arianespace has signed nine more launch contracts for geostationary satellites, as well as six new contracts for dedicated Soyuz launches.
Arianespace’s order book now stands at €4.4 billion, an all-time record, including 32 geostationary satellites, six Ariane 5 launches for the ATV, and 18 Soyuz launches.
Strengthened financial structure
In line with decisions made at the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders in April, the Board of Directors has started operations to increase the company’s share capital, in order to offset the losses recorded in 2009 and strengthen its financial structure.
Arianespace is the world’s leading launch service & solutions company, providing innovation to its customers since 1980. Backed by 24 shareholders and the European Space Agency, Arianespace offers an unrivalled family of launchers, comprising Ariane 5, Soyuz and Vega, and an international workforce renowned for a culture of commitment and excellence. As of September 15 2010, Arianespace had launched a total of 283 payloads, including more than half of all the commercial satellites now in service worldwide. It has a backlog of 22 Ariane 5 and 18 Soyuz launches, equal to more than three years of business.