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Ariane 6 gets first commercial GEO contract
Ariane 6 in A64 configuration. © ESA

Ariane 6 gets first commercial GEO contract

Arianespace has announced two contracts for Ariane 6, including the first commercial GEO satellite agreement, signed with Eutelsat.

Arianespace has announced two new contracts for Ariane 6 at World Satellite Business Week 2018, being held in Paris from 10th-14th September.

The first contract is with Eutelsat as part of a launch services agreement involving five satellites; and the second with France’s CNES space agency and the country’s DGA defence procurement agency for the CSO-3 satellite.

Arianespace also announced a recent contract signed with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) for Ariane 5 missions to orbit two satellites.

Arianespace’s backlog is now 59 launches, including three on Vega C and five on Ariane 6 – the new launchers slated to make their maiden flights in 2019 and 2020, respectively.

The Eutelsat contract is a multi-year multiple-launch agreement concerning five satellites to be launched through 2027, making Eutelsat the first commercial Ariane 6 customer with geostationary orbit satellite payloads.

For institutional missions, after the two launch contracts signed in 2017 for the European Commission and ESA’s Galileo constellation, CNES and the DGA have chosen the A62 version of Ariane 6 (with two boosters) to launch their CSO-3 satellite.The announcement confirms an agreement reached between Paris and Berlin in June.

CSO-3 is a future addition to the Composante Spatiale Optique (CSO) high-resolution military reconnaissance satellite network. The satellite is scheduled to enter service in 2021 to improve revisit times offered by the first two platforms.

Germany joined the programme in 2015 and is  contributing €210m in funding for the third satellite.

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