Sunday, September 14, 2014

ESA's Partner Arianespace Claims 60% of the Commercial Launch Market

European commercial launch provider Arianespace has announced that it has signed four new commercial launch contracts.

This marks an impressive 11 launch contracts signed so far this year for the company, with two current contracts under negotiation to be completed by the year’s end.

According to the company, these four contracts bring Arianespace’s total launch backlog to 38 satellite launches for 29 different customers.

The value of these combined orders exceeds $5.82 billion. The company claims to now hold 60% of commercial launch market.

All four launches satellites are between 3,300 and 3,500kg and will be launched by an Ariane 5 rocket with other, heavier satellites, whose launches are already on the books.

The Ariane 5 is capable of delivering 10,000kg of payload to geosynchronous transfer orbit, over twice as much as its competitor SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket.

This ability to lift two larger satellites at once helps the company stay competitive with other providers.

“Dual manifesting allows Arianespace to be very competitive on price,” a company spokesperson told me. “It is part of our business model.”

SSL's Optus 10 satellite being prepped for launch at Arianespace’s launch center. 

Credit: Arianespace

In 2016, Arianespace will be launching communications satellite JCSAT-1 for its customer SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation.

The satellite will be used to broadcast TV signals for its customers.

This will be the 29th satellite that Arianespace has launched for SKY Perfect since 1989.

KTSat's Koreasat 7
For Korean satellite communications provider, KTSatArianespace will be launching Koreasat 7.

This satellite, to be launched in 2016, will provide communications services to customers in Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia and India.

This will mark the third KTSat launch performed by Arianespace.

Thales Alenia Space will build Koreasat-5 and Koreasat 7.

Avanti Communications Hylas 4
In 2017, Arianespace will be launching the telecommunications satellite Hylas 4 on behalf of its customer, the London-based Avanti Communications.

Hylas 4 will be built by Orbital Sciences and will provide TV and data services to Africa, Europe and Latin America.

During the third quarter of 2016, Arianespace will launch IntelSat 36 on behalf of telecoms service provider Intelsat.

This will be the 55th satellite that Arianespace has launched for Intelsat.

The satellite will deliver data services to customers in Asia and Africa.

An Arianespace Soyuz rocket lifting off. 

Credit: Arianespace

“We are very honoured by our customers’ renewed confidence, as well as the new customers we have added to our clientele,” Chairman and CEO Stéphane Israël said in a statement.

“The eleven contracts signed so far this year, and the two exclusive negotiations under way, clearly demonstrate the pertinence of Arianespace’s product offering, which strikes an optimum balance between reliability, availability and cost.”

Arianespace has had 256 successful launches since it was founded in 1980.

Its next launch is scheduled for September 11, where it will be taking two telecommunications satellites into orbit.

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