Ever since opening its Tokyo office in 1986, Arianespace has been a major partner to Japanese satellite manufacturers and operators. During its annual Japan Week press conference in Tokyo, Arianespace confirmed its continued global leadership in the launch services market.
The benchmark in launch services
Since being founded, Arianespace has signed more than 410 launch contracts with 89 different customers. It has carried out 217 Ariane launches, orbiting 330 payloads, including more than half of the commercial satellites now in orbit worldwide. Arianespace has also carried out 33 Soyuz launches (26 in Baikonur, Kazakhstan via its Euro-Russian subsidiary Starsem, and seven from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana, South America) and the first two launches of Vega, both flawless.
A record backlog of orders
Drawing on a complete range of launch vehicles, with proven reliability and availability, Arianespace wins more than half of the commercial launch contracts open to competitive bidding on the international market every year. This gives it a very healthy backlog of launch orders, equal to three years of operations: 32 satellites to be launched into geostationary orbit by 21 Ariane 5 launchers, three dedicated Ariane 5 missions, eight Soyuz launches and six Vega launches.
Arianespace’s backlog now stands at 4.7 billion euros from 24 customers.
Arianespace and Japan
Since opening its Tokyo office in 1986, 27 of 36 Japanese commercial satellites have been launched by Arianespace, starting with Japan’s first commercial satellite JCSAT-1 in 1989. All seven satellites used by BSAT since its inception were launched by Arianespace. Arianespace also launched the LDREX 1 and 2 payloads for JAXA, the Japanese space agency.
Last September, SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation, the leading satellite operator in Asia and Arianespace signed a launch contract for a JCSAT satellite to be launched by an Ariane 5 into a geostationary transfer orbit in late 2015 from the Guiana Space Center.
Arianespace and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries concluded a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in commercial launch services. The MOU documents were exchanged in June 2013 with the presence of Prime Minister Abe and French President Hollande on the occasion of President Hollande’s State visit.
During his press conference held today in Tokyo, Stéphane Israël, Arianespace Chairman and CEO declared, “Japan is one of our key customers and a strategic partner. We are extremely proud to have launched most of the Japanese satellites in orbit today. Arianespace’s fondest wish is to maintain and strengthen this privileged relationship.”