Today in Rome, Jean-Yves Le Gall, Chairman and CEO of Arianespace, and Markus Bertschi, Launcher Programmes Department Head at the European Space Agency (ESA), signed a contract defining Arianespaceâ€™s support services for the qualification campaign and combined testing of the Vega light launcher.
Astrium, industrial prime contractor for the European launcher, is to develop a new, more powerful version of Ariane 5
Ariane 5 ME will have a re-ignitable upper stage and be capable of launching payloads of up to 12 tonnes into orbit
Contract worth â‚¬150 million over two years
The European Space Agency (ESA) has signed a contract with Astrium for the initial development phase of its programme to enhance the performance of the Ariane launch vehicle and make it even more competitive.
The 30th anniversary of Arianeâ€™s first flight was celebrated tonight in Washington, D.C., where Arianespace Chairman & CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall underscored the importance of launch services maturity and continuity in todayâ€™s competitive marketplace.
The first two Soyuz launchers have left Russia for the Guiana Space Center, Europeâ€™s Spaceport in French Guiana (northern part of South America). The legendary Russian launcher will lift off from its new launch pad, now being completed, for the first time in 2010.
The two Soyuz launchers left St. Petersburg today aboard the MN Colibri, which is one of two ships used by Arianespace to transport Ariane launch vehicles from their European manufacturing sites to French Guiana.Â The ship will arrive in a port near Kourou, French Guiana, in about two weeks.
The Arianespace website has a Q&A interview with Clayton Mowry, president of the company’s North American affiliate. In the interview reproduced below, Mowry discussed the role of the Washington, DC-based company, the region’s future needs for space access, and the decision to bring Soyuz rockets to Kourou.
Avanti Secures $68 Million to Switch Launch Vehicles Space News
Start-up broadband satellite operator Avanti Communications Group of London has raised some $68 million in cash from institutional investors and the British government to pay the additional costs it will incur in shifting the launch of its first satellite to an Ariane 5 or Soyuz rocket instead of a Falcon 9 vehicle operated by Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX), Avanti said….
Initial preparations for Vegaâ€™s new launch site in French Guiana have been completed, clearing the way for facility integration and qualification tests that should lead to a maiden flight of this new lightweight launcher in 2010.
ESA Invests 100 Million Euros in Delayed Soyuz, Vega Programs Space News
The European Space Agency (ESA) has agreed to make supplemental investments of 100 million euros ($132 million) in the Soyuz and Vega rocket programs to take account of development delays but has not yet agreed to pay higher prices to launch ESA satellites aboard either rocket, ESA Launch Director Antonio Fabrizi said.
Following the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders on Wednesday, April 8, 2009 in Evry, France, Arianespace announced 2008 sales of 955.7 million euros [$1.27 billion], with net income of 2.5 million euros [$3.3 million].
Arianespace – long the king of commercial satellite launches with its Ariane rockets – is responding to increased competition from China and elsewhere by stressing the reliability and flexibility of its services, AFP reports:
On 25 March, ESA and CNES, the French Space Agency, signed a 435 million Euro contract assuring the availability of the CSG launch range for ESA programmes and activities and for the exploitation of Ariane, Vega and Soyuz launchers over the period 2009 to 2013.
Not looking at Arianespace as a competitor: ISRO Hindu News Service
Indian Space Research Organisation Chairman G Madhavan Nair on Monday said that European space consortium Arianespace would market home-grown rocket PSLV in Europe and maintained that ISRO does not see the latter as a long-term competitor.
On Friday, January 30 at European Space Agency headquarters in Paris, Jean-Yves Le Gall, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Arianespace, and Alain Charmeau, Chief Executive Officer of Astrium Space Transportation, signed a contract for the production of 35 Ariane 5 ECA launchers (designated the â€œPBâ€ batch).