February 12th 2005 – The new, more powerful European launcher Ariane 5 ECA has just been successfully launched from the European spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

Josef Kind and Hervé Guillou, respectively President and CEO of EADS SPACE Transportation congratulated all the teams which allowed the success of this very important flight of the A5 ECA launcher, which is deemed to become the work horse of Arianespace for commercial launch services.

 “This launch was a big challenge and its success demonstrates once again the know-how and excellence of the European space industry”, said Mr. Kind. “This success confirms the improvements that have been realized since the maiden flight V 157 of this launcher in December 2002.”

“We are particularly proud of the new cryogenic upper stage ESC-A, which was built at the Bremen facility of EADS-ST” added Mr. Guillou.  “This powerful upper stage and the new Vulcain II main-stage engine of SNECMA provide the performance gain we need to ensure Ariane’s dual launch capability.”

This qualification flight V164 – under the responsibility of the European Space Agency (ESA) – launched the Spanish satellite Xtar-EUR, the model Maqsat-2 and the micro satellite Sloshsat. Arianespace was in charge of the commercial launch service operation.

“This is the result of an intensive work performed by all EADS-ST teams and the industry during these two years”, said Hugues Laporte-Weywada, Director of Launchers at EADS SPACE Transportation. “We can be proud of such a success which reinforces our ability to assume prime contractor responsibilities for Ariane 5.”

In May 2004, EADS SPACE Transportation had been awarded a contract for the production of 30 Ariane 5 launchers. Its commitment is to deliver fully integrated and tested launchers to Arianespace in French Guiana. This means that the company manages from now the whole range of technical and contractual relationship with the subcontractors throughout Europe.


EADS SPACE Transportation is the European specialist for access to Space and manned space activities. It develops and produces Ariane launchers, the Columbus laboratory and the ATV cargo carrier for the International Space Station, atmospheric reentry vehicles, missiles systems for France’s deterrent force, propulsion systems and space equipment.

EADS SPACE Transportation is a wholly owned subsidiary of EADS SPACE, which is dedicated to providing civil and defense space systems. In 2003, EADS SPACE had a turnover of ?2.4 billion and 12,000 employees in France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Spain.

EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defense and related services. In 2003, EADS generated revenues of 30.1 billion and employed a workforce of more than 100,000.