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Corporate March 12, 2018

Arianespace at Satellite 2018: Ariane 6 and Vega C are on track for liftoff

Arianespace’s participation in the Satellite 2018 conference March 12-15 at Washington, D.C.’s Walter E. Washington Convention Center looks to the future with Ariane 6 and Vega C launchers at the service of its customers.

Meetings and highlights

Satellite 2018 is an excellent opportunity for Arianespace to meet with all its partners and customers, spotlight its past successes and future milestones, showcase its service offering and share its vision of the launch market.

In this context, Arianespace Chief Executive Officer Stéphane Israël will participate in the launch services roundtable discussion entitled: “Breaking Through the Bottleneck” on Monday, March 12 beginning at 4:15 p.m. local time in meeting room 202.

Moreover, Arianespace’s staff will be greeting visitors at booth 1109 (Hall 2) alongside ArianeGroup. Interactive video demos will allow visitors to discover Arianespace’s current and future family of launch vehicles, along with the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana (South America).

Three launch vehicles to better serve our customers

Arianespace conducted 11 successful launches in 2017 from the Guiana Space Center (six by Ariane 5, two by Soyuz and three by Vega), orbiting a total of 20 satellites for commercial and institutional customers from around the world. With 12 satellites sent into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO), representing a total mass of 54 metric tons, Arianespace once again confirmed its leadership in the GTO launch market. Ariane 5 also set a new performance record, injecting 9.969 metric tons into GTO on a mission performed in June 2017.

A total of 14 launch opportunities from the Guiana Space Center have been identified for 2018. Two of these launches already have taken place, on January 25 with a heavy-lift Ariane 5, and on March 9 with a medium-lift Soyuz rocket. The next mission is planned by the end of March, using an Ariane 5.

Arianespace’s order book stands at 4.8 billion euros, including 56 launches for 28 customers (70 percent commercial and 30 percent institutional, in terms of the number of launches), with 17 by Ariane 5, 28 by Soyuz, nine by Vega/Vega C and two by Ariane 6.

Arianespace steps up the pace with Ariane 6 and Vega C

The development of Arianespace’s future launchers is proceeding on schedule, with first launches planned as soon as 2019 for Vega C and as soon as 2020 for Ariane 6.

Ariane 6 and Vega C are perfectly suited to the new market opportunities offered by a number of planned satellite constellations designed to offer global connectivity or Earth observation services. Both launchers won their first launch services contracts in 2017:

  • Two contracts for the Ariane 62 version awarded to Arianespace by the European Space Agency, on behalf of the European Commission, to launch four additional satellites, built by OHB, in the Galileo navigation system.
  • Three Vega C contracts, including two to orbit satellites in the Airbus Earth observation constellation, and one to launch the COSMO-SkyMed second-generation satellite built by Thales Alenia Space for the Italian space agency (ASI) and Italian Ministry of Defense.

This trend should accelerate in 2018, in particular with the expected first commercial launch contracts for Ariane 6 in the pipeline.

About Arianespace

Arianespace uses space to make life better on Earth by providing launch services for all types of satellites into all orbits. It has orbited more than 570 satellites since 1980, using its family of three launchers, Ariane, Soyuz and Vega, from launch sites in French Guiana (South America) and Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Arianespace is headquartered in Evry, near Paris, and has a technical facility 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 17 other shareholders from the European launcher industry.

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