Thales Alenia Space
|Key people||Jean-Loïc Galle, President and CEO|
|Operating income||1.8 billion euro (2004)|
|Employees||7,200 (Nov. 2006)|
|Parent||Thales Group & Finmeccanica|
|Website||Thales Alenia Space|
Thales Alenia Space is a French-Italian aerospace company formed after the Thales Group bought the participation of Alcatel in the two joint-ventures between Alcatel and Finmeccanica, Alcatel Alenia Space and Telespazio.
Alcatel Alenia Space was established on June 1, 2005 by the merger of Alcatel Space and Alenia Spazio and was owned by Alcatel-Lucent (67%) and Finmeccanica (33%). The company is Europe's largest satellite manufacturer.
The creation of the company was concurrent with the creation of Telespazio Holding. This too was a merger of Finmeccanica and Alcatel businesses (Telespazio and Alcatel's Space Services and Operations respectively).
The company built the Multi-Purpose Logistics Modules, which was used to transport cargo inside the Space Shuttle orbiters. They also built several modules for the International Space Station, those modules are Cupola, Columbus, Harmony, Tranquility and Leonardo. They currently build the pressurized vessels for the Automated Transfer Vehicle and Cygnus spacecraft.
In the mid-1990s, the United States stopped issuing export licenses to companies to allow them to launch on Chinese launch vehicles out of fear that this would help China's military. In the face of this, Thales Alenia Space built the Chinasat-6B satellite with no components from the United States whatsoever. This allowed it to be launched on a Chinese launch vehicle without violating U.S. ITAR restrictions. The launch, on a Long March 3B rocket, was successfully conducted on July 5, 2007.
In 2007, Thales Alenia Space had 7500 employees in 13 industrial sites located in five countries (France, Italy, Spain, Belgium and USA):
- Cannes, France, hosting also the headquarters in the Cannes Mandelieu Space Center
- L'Aquila, Italy
- Colombes, France
- Florence, Italy
- Milan, Italy
- Rome (Saccomuro), Italy
- Rome (Tiburtina), Italy
- Turin, Italy
- Toulouse, France
- Charleroi, Belgium
- Madrid (Tres Cantos), Spain
- Cupertino, United States
- "Creation of the New Space Alliance between Thales and Finmeccanica" (Press release). Thales Alenia Space. April 10, 2007.
- "Alcatel and Finmeccanica finalize the creation of new joint ventures and announce nominations" (Press release). Alcatel. July 1, 2005.
- "Alcatel pursues the transfer of its satellite activities and critical systems for security to Thales" (Press release). Alcatel. April 5, 2006.
- "Alcatel-Lucent cleared by the EU to transfer its space assets to Thales" (Press release). Thales Alenia Space. April 10, 2007.
- "China launches satellite despite restrictions". USA TODAY. July 6, 2007. Retrieved May 11, 2010.