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Satnews Daily
June 1st, 2017

Success for Airbus Safran Launchers and Arianespace as They Celebrate Third Launch

Such strong statistics reveal that today's launch is the 79th consecutive successful launch, the third this year carrying more than 10.8 tons to geostationary transfer orbit, two successful Ariane 5 launches in less than a month and four more Ariane 5 launches scheduled this year.

Airbus Safran Launchers' Statement

In its third launch of this year, Ariane 5 successfully completed its 79th consecutive successful mission from the European space port of Kourou (French Guiana, placing two telecommunications satellites in geostationary transfer orbit (GTO).

The launch performance of this Ariane 5 ECA was 9,969 kg net mass for the satellites, or a gross mass of 10,865 kg (including the ACU [payload adapters], the SYLDA -Ariane dual launch system- and the LVA 3936 -Launch Vehicle Adaptor-), thus improving by 130 kg the record of 10,735 kg gross mass to geostationary orbit set in August  2016.

“Not only have Airbus Safran Launchers and Arianespace carried out two Ariane 5 launches in less than a month - which in itself represents a major feat in terms of organization and performance - but the Ariane 5 ECA has also beaten its own commercial payload record by placing more than 10.8 tons into geostationary orbit”, declared Alain Charmeau, CEO of Airbus Safran Launchers. “These successes confirm the permanent commitment of our teams to adapt and improve the performance of Ariane 5, while preparing for the future performance and launch rates of Ariane 6 in the best possible conditions. I wish to express my gratitude to all of them for their talent and their reliability and I wish to thank the European Space Agency and CNES for their unfailing confidence and support.”

Airbus Safran Launchers, which will take the name ArianeGroup on July 1, 2017, finalized its organization on July 1, 2016. On December 31, 2016, the group became a 74 percent majority shareholder of Arianespace. This new governance makes possible an overall approach to market needs from launcher design and construction up to commercialization, thus reinforcing industrial efficiency and operational flexibility for the benefit of Arianespace’s customers. 

Ariane 5 is the spearhead of European know-how and one of the most wide-ranging and ambitious space programs in the world. Its flexibility enables it to transport heavy payloads into low Earth orbit, several satellites into medium Earth orbit or, as it is the case today, one or two satellites into geostationary transfer orbit with an optimized lifetime.

Airbus Safran Launchers is lead contractor for the Ariane 5 launchers. The company is also industrial lead contractor for Europe’s future Ariane 6 launcher, which is scheduled for a first flight in 2020 and which will replace Ariane 5 in about 2023.

Airbus Safran Launchers coordinates an industrial network of more than 600 companies in 13 European countries (including more than 350 Small and Medium Enterprises). Airbus Safran Launchers oversees the entire industrial chain, from management of launcher performance upgrades, to production management, to final adjustment with supply of the mission flight software and, from now on, its marketing through Arianespace. This chain includes equipment and structures, engine manufacturing, integration of the various stages and finally the integration of the launcher in French Guiana.

The Ariane 237 flight in figures:

  • 93rd launch of an Ariane 5
  • 62nd launch of an Ariane 5 ECA
  • 16th Ariane 5 launch with Airbus Safran Launchers as lead contractor
  • 67th consecutive success by a launcher fitted with a Vulcain® 2 engine and EAP Solid Propulsive Stages

135th consecutive success by a launcher fitted with the HM7B engine

Reminder: Airbus Safran Launchers will be taking the name ArianeGroup on July 1, 2017, when the corporate name change goes into effect.