Arianespace gears up for busy 2022

Company also wins Microcarb launch deal and names new chief technical officer

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(PHOTO: Arianespace)

Arianespace confirmed its strong performance in 2021, with 15 successful launches, five more than in 2020, and 305 satellites sent into orbit using its three launchers, Ariane, Soyuz and Vega, from three different launch bases, the company announced recently. The company posted revenues exceeding 1.25 billion euros, an increase of 30 percent over 2020. It has a backlog of 36 launches, with 22 more satellites added in 2021.

Arianespace launched the James Webb Space Telescope in December from the Guiana Space Centre, sending into orbit the most ambitious space telescope ever built. Ariane 5 surpassed its expected performance by optimising the spacecraft’s injection, which will increase its original design life.

The new year will also be very busy, with up to 17 launches planned in 2022, including the first flights of Vega C and Ariane 6. Arianespace consolidated the backlog of orders for its family of launch vehicles (Ariane 5, Ariane 6, Soyuz, Vega and Vega C) by adding 22 satellites from the following customers:

  • ISRO/NSIL, for the GSAT-24 satellite, assigned to the last position available on Ariane 5.
  • EUMETSAT, with the MTG-I2 satellite planned for an Ariane 64 launch.
  • ESA (for the European Commission) and EUSPA, which chose three Ariane 62 and a Soyuz launch for eight Galileo satellites.
  • Optus, for Optus-11 to be launched by an Ariane 64.
  • Skyloom, for UHURA-1, on an Ariane 64 rideshare mission.
  • ESA, with FLEX and Altius on a Vega C, and Microcarb (for CNES with the support of the European Union) as an auxiliary passenger on a Vega C.
  • SITAEL (for the Italian space agency ASI), for PLATiNO 1 & 2, on Vega and Vega C.
  • CNES, with NESS as an auxiliary passenger for Vega C.
  • Four small satellites, already launched on Vega mission VV19 in August 2021 as auxiliary passengers.

Arianespace’s backlog of orders now stands at 36 launches for 24 different customers. Along with a large number of orders from European institutions, Arianespace is pleased to note the commitment made by ESA member states as part of their August 13, 2021 resolution to support the operation of Ariane 6 and Vega C in their stabilized phase. Based on this commitment, Arianespace should have a solid base of institutional launches for Ariane 6 and Vega C, while also ensuring that it can offer competitive solutions to meet the market’s demand.

Arianespace is gearing up for a new year that will be just as intense, with a first flight on 10  February from the CSG for OneWeb and up to 17 launches of various types: Ariane 5, for geostationary dual launches; Soyuz launches from both the Guiana Space Center and the Russian Spaceports in Baikonur and Vostochny; Vega C, set to make its first flight in the second quarter; and Ariane 6, which will lift off for the first time in the second half of the year.

Arianespace wins Microcarb deal

Arianespace has been awarded a launch contract by ESA, on behalf of the European Commission, to launch Microcarb in 2023 on Vega C. Microcarb is a 190kg satellite developed by CNES that will be delivered into a sun-synchronous orbit, 650km above the Earth. Microcarb is a small satellite designed to map sources and sinks of carbon dioxide (CO2)—the most important greenhouse gas — on a global scale. To better understand the impact of CO2 produced by human activity and how this greenhouse gas is released and absorbed, NASA launched the OCO-2 satellite in 2014. In 2023, CNES will take over this role with the launch of Microcarb. Its dispersive spectrometer instrument will be able to measure atmospheric concentration of CO2 globally with a high degree of precision (on the order of 1 ppm) and with a pixel size of 4.5 km x 9 km. The instrument will be flown on a microsatellite built around CNES’s Myriade spacecraft bus with a payload designed and produced by Airbus Defence and Space. This mission involves the French scientific community studying climatology and the carbon cycle. The Microcarb mission includes funding from French Investments for the Future Programmes, as well as from the European Union framework programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon 2020.

New CTO named

Pierre-Yves Tissier. (PHOTO: Arianespace)

Arianespace announced the appointment of Pierre-Yves Tissier as chief technical officer. Tissier will succeed Roland Lagier after his retirement. He will report to Stphane Isral, CEO of Arianespace, and will join the company’s Executive Committee. Tissier began his career in 1985 at Bertin Technologies, in the turbo-machinery and thermodynamics department before joining the SNPE (today, ArianeGroup) research centre, five years later, as head of the Internal Ballistics Laboratory, a position in which he led numerous projects in civil and military launcher propulsion, in collaboration with the French space agency, CNES, and the French defence procurement agency, DGA. In September 1996, Pierre-Yves Tissier joined the Solid Propulsion and Pyrotechnics department of Arianespace’s Industrial Directorate as manager of Ariane 5’s Solid-Propellant Engine, and went on to head the same department in 2000. In 2006, following the merger of the Solid Propulsion and Liquid Propulsion departments, Tissier was appointed Head of the Propulsion Department of the company’s Programs Directorate, a position he held for three years before his promotion to Deputy Head of Division – Launchers in Production. In 2017, he was appointed deputy to the chief technical officer, preparing him for the position he is now assuming.

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