Arianespace says it plans 12 launches in 2011

Jan 04, 2011
The European Ariane 5 rocket takes off in Kourou, French Guiana, in 2010. 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.

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 euros to slightly more than 900 million euros (1.2 billion dollars), Jean-Yves Le Gall told journalists.

The delayed launch of Russian Soyuz rockets from the Kourou base in French Guiana should finally take place in the middle of the year, "most likely during the month of August," Le Gall said.

The company hopes to launch two Soyuz rockets this year from Kourou, plus another three from the Baikonur space base in Kazakhstan for the Globalstar 2 satellite telecommunications system, he added.

The Italian-made Vega small rocket, intended for small payloads, should also be brought into service at Kourou in the second half of the year.

Last year Arianespace put into space 12 out of the 20 satellites successfully placed into geo-stationary orbit.

The others were launched by the Russian-American company International launch services (ILS) on board of Russian Proton rockets.

Arianespace had planned to begin launching the Soyuz, a 44-year-old Soviet-era workhorse of space, from Kourou in 2009 to provide a mid-range option, but was delayed to problems with a mobile launch pad.

Arianespace's shareholders, which include the EADS aerospace company plus France's space research agency, have made contributions to the company's capital, said Le Gall without specifying the amount.

should also receive support for the member states of the (ESA), the amount of which should be decided in March, plus 125 million euros under ESA's European Guaranteed Access to Space (EGAS) programme, he added.

Explore further: Italian astronaut brews, sips first fresh espresso in space

Related Stories

Russian rocket to launch from French Guiana in 2010

Nov 07, 2009

A Russian rocket will next year for the first time blast off from a European launch pad in South America, officials said Saturday, as the first rockets headed for the site on board a ship.

Recommended for you

Video: An enormous "plasma snake" erupts from the Sun

May 01, 2015

Over the course of April 28–29 a gigantic filament, briefly suspended above the surface of the sun, broke off and created an enormous snakelike eruption of plasma that extended millions of miles out into ...

20 ExoWorlds are now available for naming proposals

May 01, 2015

Although people have been naming celestial objects for millennia, the IAU has the task of assigning scientifically recognised names to newly discovered celestial bodies by its member countries. The NameExoWorlds ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.