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2006 Bumper Year For Satellite Launcher Arianespace

An Ariane launch in May 2006.
by Staff Writers
Le Bourget (AFP) France, June 19, 2007
The European satellite launcher Arianespace on Tuesday said 2006 was a bumper year, leaving it with the biggest backlog of orders in an increasingly competitive industry. "In 2006, Arianespace successfully launched five Ariane 5 ECAs, placing 10 communications satellites and one technology experiment into geostationary transfer orbit," it said.

As part of a cooperation program with Russia, Arianespace and Starsem also launched the MetOp-A weather satellite using a Soyuz 2-1a, and Corot, a space telescope, on a Soyuz 2-1b.

Since January 1, Arianespace has carried out two Ariane 5 ECA missions, comprising four communications satellites, while Starsem has launched four satellites for the Globalstar constellation on a single Soyuz mission, it said.

Twelve new contracts signed in 2006 and another seven so far in 2007 have brought the company's backlog of orders to 40 satellites, "by far the largest in the industry," it said.

Arianespace, which announced the figures at the Paris Air Show, added that it posted sales of 983 million euros (1.307 billion dollars) in 2006, generating net income of 6.3 million euros (8.37 million dollars), the fourth year in a row that it has been in profit.

Separately, it added it had received an order to launch one of the next-generation Arabsat 5 telecommunications satellites for the Saudi-based operator Arabsat. Financial details were not disclosed.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Russia, Arianespace Contract First Satellite Launches From Equator
Le Bourget, France (RIA Novosti) Jun 20 - Russia's space agency and French satellite launch firm Arianespace signed a contract for the first four launches of European satellites from the Kourou space center in French Guiana.

Anatoly Perminov, the head of the Federal Space Agency, said at Le Bourget air show near Paris on Tuesday: "We have signed the first contract, which marks the first joint landmark in the use of Russian Soyuz rockets from a foreign launch pad."

The satellites are to be put into orbit by the Russian booster rocket Soyuz ST.

European Space Agency President Jean Jacques Dordain said that the first launch of a European satellite aboard a Soyuz ST is planned to take place before March 2009.

The Soyuz will have a separate launch pad near Sinnamari, a village ten kilometers (6 miles) north of the site used for the Ariane-5, the main European-made booster.

Kourou is intended mainly for the launch of geostationary satellites. Its proximity to the equator will enable the Soyuz ST to orbit heavier satellites than when launched from Baikonur in Kazakhstan, and Plesetsk in northern Russia.

Source: RIA Novosti

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Arianespace Maintains Launch Campaign Pace As Another Ariane 5 GEO Truck Takes Form
Kourou, French Guiana (SPX) May 28, 2007
Another Ariane 5 has started the assembly process at Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana as Arianespace moves ahead with plans to conduct a total of six missions during 2007 with the workhorse launch vehicle. To meet the goal of performing its next two flights in an interval of less than one month, the vehicle now taking shape in the Launcher Integration Building is an Ariane 5 GS version, which is to orbit the Intelsat-11 and Horizons-2 satellites on a mission targeted for mid-September.

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