The head of Arianespace asked European governments to provide his company with more support in order to balance what he called government support of American competitors “with no precedent.”
Arianespace on Aug. 15 launched two communications satellites and a satellite servicer on an Ariane 5 rocket, completing the company’s first launch since the reopening of the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana.
Arianespace is poised to launch up to 22 missions this year, a number that would nearly double the company’s record.
Orders for geostationary satellites are beginning to rebound in a market is far more varied than in the past.
Satellite broadband company Ovzon said Aug. 24 that a better offer from Arianespace for a 2021 launch aboard an Ariane 5 prompted it exit an agreement to launch its first fully owned satellite on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy.
The Ariane 5 took off at 3:30 p.m. Eastern from Europe’s Guiana Space Center in South America, carrying the Intelsat-39 communications satellite and the EDRS-C laser relay satellite to geostationary transfer orbits.
European launch provider Arianespace completed the first Ariane 5 mission of the year Feb. 5, lofting two telecom satellites into geostationary transfer orbits.
The Ariane 5 launch will carry two telecom satellites: Arabsat’s SaudiGEOSat-1/Hellas Sat 4, and the Indian space agency ISRO’s GSAT-31.