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Arianespace Looks Break Launch Records, Debut New Boosters in 2020

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
January 8, 2020
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Artist’s view of the configuration of Ariane 6 using four boosters (A64) (Credit: ESA – D. Ducros)

COURCOURONNES, France (Arianespace PR) — Arianespace is heading into 2020 fully prepared to capitalize on the latest commercial opportunities for Ariane 5 and to succeed with Vega’s return-to-flight, planned for March. Arianespace also is aiming to set three new records:

  • For the number of launches during the year, with up to 12 opportunities identified from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana, along with the first flights of Vega C and Ariane 6; and eight more from the cosmodromes at Baikonur and Vostochny. (from these two cosmodromes, this launch cadence could be augmented based on satellite availability),
  • For the number of satellites placed into orbit – more than 300 – taking into account the continued deployment of OneWeb satellites and the SSMS rideshare mission with Vega, and
  • For the number of launch pads at its service: four at the Guiana Space Center (for Ariane 5, Ariane 6, Soyuz and Vega/Vega C), along with one each at the Baikonur and Vostochny cosmodromes for Soyuz.

Since 1980, Arianespace has launched a total of 616 satellites for more than 100 commercial and institutional customers from around the world, making a major contribution to humankind’s knowledge of space, the protection of Earth, and improving life on the planet.

Arianespace offers launches into geostationary transfer orbit – its legacy core business; as well as new solutions, such as launch services for constellations and for small satellites into low Earth orbit (LEO), as well as rideshare-type launches into geostationary and lunar orbits.

Key figures


In addition to the inaugural flights of Vega C and Ariane 6, up to 20 launches could be carried out to deploy more than 300 satellites.

> Up to 12 launches by Ariane 5, Soyuz and Vega from the Guiana Space Center:

  • Five Ariane 5 missions to geostationary transfer orbit, all for commercial/export operators:
    • Eutelsat
    • ISRO
    • SKY Perfect JSAT
    • KARI
    • B-SAT
    • Intelsat and NGIS
    • Embratel Star One
  • Four by Soyuz:
    • The United Arab Emirates’ second FalconEye 2 satellite, on the initial Soyuz launch in 2020
    • CSO-2 for French CNES space agency, on behalf of the French Ministry of the Armed Forces
    • Up to two missions for the OneWeb constellation
  • Three by Vega:
    • Flight VV16/SSMS, the first “rideshare” launch, carrying approximately 40 smallsats (as early as March)
    • The Spanish governmental Earth observation satellite, SEOSat (Satélite Español de Observación de la Tierra), for CDTI (Centro para el Desarrollo Technologico Industria; the center for the development of industrial technologies)
    • The first Pleiades Neo constellation mission for Airbus Defence and Space
    • The deployment start-up with the Pléiades Neo constellation for Airbus.

> Eight launches from the Baikonur and Vostochny cosmodromes for the OneWeb constellation’s deployment, and potentially more depending on satellite availability.

  > Initial launches of Vega C and Ariane 6, under the responsibility of ESA.

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.

7 responses to “Arianespace Looks Break Launch Records, Debut New Boosters in 2020”

  1. Mr Snarky Answer says:

    New booster that isn’t reusable and has solids….nice try.

  2. duheagle says:

    Arianespace better hope nothing terminally bad happens to Greg Wyler or OneWeb this year. Having half one’s “eggs” in a single basket can’t be an especially comfortable position to be in.

  3. Mr Snarky Answer says:

    Easy, the fact that SpaceX is flying cores deeper into mission count vs building new cores to support the many “internally” funded Starlink missions proves it is cheaper. The forcing function that allows mega-constellation to be built is cheap launch, you would have to choose the cheapest launch option possible or risk the entire Starlink project. The fact SpaceX is doubling down on a massive scale of missions means it is cheaper, simple as that.

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