Arianespace looks ahead to Ariane 6
Arianespace is gearing up for the challenges of 2019, including the transition from Ariane 5 to Ariane 6, due to make its first flight in 2020.
With 18 contracts signed during 2018 for all of its current and future launchers, Arianespace maintained its leadership in the geostationary market. Highlights from the past year included the first commercial contract for Ariane 6 and contracts signed for the first Vega mission using the SSMS multiple launch system, slated to lift off in 2019.
The schedule for 2019 includes up to 12 missions from the Guiana Space Center by Ariane 5, Soyuz and Vega. During 2019, Arianespace will also be involved in finalizing the production order for the last batch of Ariane 5 launchers and for the transition phase Ariane 62 and Ariane 64 launcher versions, while preparing for the next ESA ministerial-level conference, dubbed “Space19+”, to take place in November 2019 in Seville, Spain.
This conference is tasked with defining the roadmap for Ariane 6 and Vega C during steady-state operations, while also consolidating institutional commitments to these launchers.
The past year saw 21 satellites orbited on 11 missions: six by Ariane 5, three by Soyuz and two by Vega, placing nearly 57 metric tons into orbit for 13 different customers, and generating revenues of €1.4bn.
At the start of 2019, Arianespace’s order book stands at €4.2bn, distributed as follows (by value):
70% commercial and 30% institutional;
40% GEO missions and 60% non-GEO missions;
68% telecommunications, 24% Earth observation, 4% navigation, 4% science and technology.