[SatNews] Arianespace Chairman and CEO Stéphane Israël focused on the U.S. space sector during a speech at the Washington Space Business Roundtable (WSBR) luncheon on December 3rd, outlining the company’s continued innovation and proven reliability in its partnership with American satellite manufacturers and operators.
His keynote address in the U.S capital, attended by regional space industry leaders, is part of a U.S. visit this week that also included the company’s annual Washington, D.C. holiday gathering yesterday.
“In this unique enterprise [that is the space industry], America is key for Arianespace,” Israël said. “We share the same values—transparency and commitment, reliability and quality, and always innovation—with one single and shared goal at the end of the journey: making space benefits accessibly every human being on Earth.”
Arianespace has been a strong partner to the U.S. space industry, with a healthy order book that includes missions for long-time customers DIRECTV (five satellites), Intelsat (five) and EchoStar (two). The company also has launched 161 spacecraft built by U.S. manufacturers (50 from Boeing, 45 for Lockheed Martin, 42 with Loral and 24 for Orbital) and has partnered with NASA, the Department of Defense and other governmental agencies.
Israël noted Arianespace is preparing to meet the needs of its American and global customers in a new era of smaller electric-propulsion spacecraft, along with even larger high-throughput satellites. This includes the recently-approved investment to increase the volume of Ariane 5’s payload fairing, as well as decrease times between launches in French Guiana. Arianespace also plans to adopt a dynamic commercial approach for spacecraft in the 2-to-3.4 ton weight category. The company remains committed to working with the European Space Agency and its member states on the next-generation Ariane 6 vehicle.
These innovations will build on the company’s proven record of reliability across its complete launcher family, which includes 57 consecutive Ariane 5 launches, 21 Soyuz missions and two Vega flights in the past 10 years with 100 percent mission success.
Israël was introduced to the audience by former U.S. House of Representatives Science Committee Chairman Bart Gordon. After his speech at the Washington Space Business Roundtable, Israël also held a brief question-and-answer session. The WSBR is a commercial space business and education leadership forum for the Washington area, promoting the open exchange of ideas and information among a broad range of executives, lawyers, insurers, analysts, academics, and thought leaders in the space industry, as well as government policy makers. The organization also raises money each year for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education scholarships.