|Type||Launch Service Provider|
Arianespace SA is a French company founded in 1980 as the world's first commercial space transportation company. It undertakes the production, operation, and marketing of the Ariane 5 launch vehicle as part of the Ariane programme. Two other launch systems are offered by the company, the Soyuz-2 as a medium-lift alternative to Ariane 5, and the Vega as a lighter one.
As of 2004[update], Arianespace held more than 50 percent of the world market for boosting satellites to geostationary transfer orbit (GTO). More than 240 commercial launches have occurred since May 22, 1984, and Arianespace states that the total number of launch contracts signed since Ariane launches commenced operations in 1984 is 285. Arianespace uses the Centre Spatial Guyanais in French Guiana as a launch site. It has its headquarters in Courcouronnes, Essonne, France, near Évry.
The company and its infrastructure
Arianespace has 24 shareholders from 10 European countries, including:
Total of 99.99% due to round-off
Corporate management is structured as follows:
|CEO & Chairman||Stéphane Israël|
|Senior Vice-President of Programs||Laurent Louis|
|Senior Vice-President, Sales and Customers||Jacques Breton|
|General Secretary, Senior Vice-President of Finances||Jean-Max Puech|
|Location of Office||Head of Branch|
|French Guiana, France||Patrick Loire|
|United States||Clayton Mowry|
|Tokyo, Japan||Kiyoshi Takamatsu|
As of 1 January 2013, Arianespace employed 315 people at its French headquarters, at its launch complex at the Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana, and at offices in Singapore, Tokyo, and Washington, D.C.
Competition and pricing
In the midst of pricing pressure from U.S. company SpaceX, Arianespace made a November 2013 announcement of pricing flexibility for the "lighter satellites" it carries to Geostationary orbits aboard its Ariane 5. In early 2014, Arianespace requested additional subsidies from European governments to face the competition from SpaceX and unfavorable changes in the Euro-Dollar exchange rate.
Ariane launch vehicles
- Ariane 1, first successful launch on December 24, 1979
- Ariane 2, first successful launch on November 20, 1987 (the first launch on May 30, 1986 failed)
- Ariane 3, first successful launch on August 4, 1984
- Ariane 4, first successful launch on June 15, 1988
- Ariane 5, first successful launch on October 30, 1997 (the first launch on June 4, 1996 failed).
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- de Selding, Peter B. (2013-11-25). "SpaceX Challenge Has Arianespace Rethinking Pricing Policies". Space News. Retrieved 2013-11-27. "The Arianespace commercial launch consortium is telling its customers it is open to reducing the cost of flights for lighter satellites on the Ariane 5 rocket in response to the challenge posed by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket."
- Svitak, Amy (2014-02-11). "Arianespace To ESA: We Need Help". Aviation Week. Retrieved 2014-02-12.