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2011: The Arianespace Family Takes Shape

With six Ariane 5 ECA launches in 2010, Arianespace orbited 12 of the 20 commercial geostationary communications satellites that were successfully launched during the year.
by Staff Writers
Paris, France (SPX) Jan 05, 2011
After reaffirming its world leadership in 2010, Arianespace is now actively preparing for the maiden launches of Soyuz and Vega from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana.

Since being founded in 1980, Arianespace has signed over 300 launch service and solutions contracts and launched 289 satellites for 78 customers - more than half of all commercial satellites now in service worldwide.

Arianespace continued its sustained launch rate in 2010, carrying out six Ariane 5 launches, along with one Soyuz launch, to orbit a total of 18 payloads.

Eight straight years of successful launches
With 41 successful launches in a row since 2003, Ariane 5 continues to confirm its technical maturity and demonstrate its operational capabilities. Ariane 5 is the only launcher on the market capable of simultaneously launching two payloads, while also handling a complete range of missions, from commercial launches into geostationary orbit, to launches of scientific spacecraft into special orbits.

With six Ariane 5 ECA launches in 2010, Arianespace orbited 12 of the 20 commercial geostationary communications satellites that were successfully launched during the year. Furthermore, in October 2010, Arianespace and Starsem teamed up to orbit the first six satellites in the Globalstar-2 constellation.

Record backlog
Arianespace enjoyed an equally impressive year in terms of orders booked. The company confirmed its world leadership by signing a total of 12 Ariane 5 contracts for geostationary satellites, out of a total of 19 open to competition. Arianespace also signed seven new contracts for Soyuz launches, which will place 12 satellites into special orbits.

As of January 4, 2011, Arianespace's backlog of orders stood at 29 geostationary satellites, six Ariane 5 launches of the ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle) to the International Space Station, and 18 Soyuz launches - a new record.

Renewed support for European launchers
At the end of 2010, the countries belonging to the European Space Agency unanimously passed a resolution to support European launch vehicles, which guarantees the company's long-term viability.

Furthermore, Arianespace's shareholders have restored the company's equity, enabling it to continue its development.

The Arianespace family takes shape in 2011
Arianespace will meet new challenges in 2011, as the complete European family of launch vehicles enters service. No less than six Ariane 5 launches are scheduled, including for the ATV 2, "Johannes Kepler", on February 15.

Arianespace will begin operating the Soyuz launch complex in April, and plans to carry out at least two Soyuz launches during the year from the Guiana Space Center. At the same time, Arianespace has planned three Soyuz launches from the Cosmodrome in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

Arianespace and ESA have also signed the production contract for the first operational launch of the Vega light launcher, while Arianespace and ELV have signed the VERTA framework contract concerning the supply of five Vega launchers following the qualification flight.

Arianespace will take over responsibility for Vega launch facilities at the end of June, then carry out the first Vega launch during the second half of the year.

Arianespace plans a total of 12 launches in 2011.

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Arianespace says it plans 12 launches in 2011
Paris (AFP) Jan 4, 2011
Arianespace said on Tuesday that it planned 10 launches in 2011, including six of its Ariane 5 rockets and the first Russian Soyuz rockets from the European space base in French Guiana beginning in August. The company, which managed only six instead of seven launches of its heavy-lift Ariane 5 rockets in 2010 owing to technical problems, saw its revenue drop last year by about 100 million eu ... read more

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