It is with great sadness that Arianespace has learned of the death of Jean-Marie Luton, who was Arianespace’s Chairman & CEO from 1997 to 2002, and the company’s Chairman from 2002 to 2007.
Arianespace expresses its sincere condolences to his family, and pays tribute to this engaging, committed and visionary leader who had a profound impact on Europe’s space and business sectors.
Stéphane Israël, the current Arianespace Chief Executive Officer, said: “Jean-Marie Luton was a great leader for Arianespace, notably making his mark by managing the transition from Ariane 4 to Ariane 5, and by the decision to integrate Soyuz into our family of launchers. He also was a great developer of the European space sector, particularly in his role as the European Space Agency’s Director General – finalizing the preparation of Ariane 5 and launching emblematic programs such as ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle) and the Columbus orbital laboratory. My thoughts, and those of Arianespace employees, go out to his family and loved ones, and we all salute the memory of one of our emblematic figures.”
Jean-Marie Luton devoted his career to the recognition and development of space – which is a strategic sector for Europe. As a former Director General of the French CNES space agency (1989-1990) then Director of the European Space Agency (1990-1997), Jean-Marie Luton was Arianespace CEO and Chairman from 1997 to 2002, the Chairman from 2002 to 2007.
Arianespace uses space to make life better on Earth by providing launch services and solutions for all types of satellites (institutional and commercial) into all orbits. It has orbited more than 600 satellites since 1980, using its family of three launchers, Ariane, Soyuz and Vega, from launch sites in French Guiana (South America) and Baikonur (Central Asia). Arianespace is headquartered in Evry, near Paris, and has a technical facility in Kourou at the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, plus local offices in Washington, D.C., Tokyo and Singapore. Arianespace is a subsidiary of ArianeGroup, which holds 74% of its share capital, with the balance held by 15 other shareholders from the European launcher industry.