Arianespace’s “GO-1” Mission to Provide Small Satellites with Direct Flight to Geostationary Orbit

Artist’s view of the configuration of Ariane 6 using four boosters (A64) (Credit: ESA – D. Ducros)

EVRY, France (Arianespace PR) — Arianespace to introduce an innovative service providing fast-track access to Geosynchronous Equatorial Orbit (also known as geostationary orbit, or GEO) for the new generation of small satellites, offering a first flight opportunity with more than 4,500 kg. of such payloads on its “GO-1” mission in the first half of 2022.

This rideshare flight from the Guiana Space Center unveiled today during the 2019 Small Satellite Conference at Logan, Utah, USA – will utilize the Ariane 64 version of Europe’s future heavy-lift launcher. The GO-1 mission will inaugurate a regular, frequent path to direct geostationary orbit for small satellites.

Configured with the Multi-Launch Service carrying system (MLS), Ariane 6 can accommodate a full range of small-sized satellites, from cubesats to microsats or larger.

Customers taking advantage of the GO-1 mission will benefit from a short ride to orbit: from liftoff to separation, the duration will be shorter than commercial jetliner flight from New York to Paris. The new service also will involve user-friendly launch service agreements and simplified mission preparation procedures. As close to six months before liftoff, customers will be able to purchase one or several slots on the GO-1 mission.

This is a new day for small satellites: until now, there has been no convenient, predictable, affordable path to GEO for small satellites. But with the Ariane 64 coming online and the GO-1 mission, we’ve engineered a solution that will pave the way for a smallsat revolution in geostationary orbit,” commented Arianespace CEO Stéphane Israël. “While most of such launches depend on a lead customer who could delay the flight, the GO-1 mission will follow a specific schedule – offering to each customer and to each satellite a ‘place of honor’ aboard this flight, which will lift off once the targeted payload capacity is booked.”

About Arianespace

Arianespace uses space to make life better on Earth by providing launch services for all types of satellites into all orbits. It has orbited more than 600 satellites since 1980, using its family of three launchers, Ariane, Soyuz and Vega, from launch sites in French Guiana (South America) and Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

Arianespace is headquartered in Evry, near Paris, and has a technical facility at the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, plus local offices in Washington, D.C., Tokyo and Singapore.

Arianespace is a subsidiary of ArianeGroup, which holds 74% of its share capital, with the balance held by 15 other shareholders from the European launcher industry.