name = Arianespace
Launch Service Provider
foundation = 1980
num_employees = 292 [citeweb|title=A launch for the International Space Station|url=http://www.arianespace.com/site/news/kit/ATV_JulesVerne_launchkit_GB.pdf|publisher="Arianespace"|accessdate=2008-04-06]
homepage = http://www.arianespace.com
Arianespace SA is a French company and was founded in
1980. They undertake the production, operation and marketing of the Ariane 5rocket launcher as part of the Ariane programme.citeweb|title= Arianespace was founded in 1980 as the world’s first launch services and solutions company.|url=http://www.arianespace.com/site/about/arianespace_today_sub_index.html|publisher=arianespace.com|accessdate=2008-03-07] It is the world's first commercial space transportation company. [citeweb|title=Ariane - The first commercial space transportation system|url=http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1986spte....2.1431J|publisher=adsabs.harvard.edu|accessdate=2008-03-07] As of 2007Arianespace held more than 50 percent of the world market for boosting satellites to geostationary transfer orbit(GTO). More than 240 commercial launches have occurred since May 22, 1984, and Arianespace states that the total number of launch contracts signed since Ariane launches commenced operations in 1984 is 285. Arianespace uses the Centre Spatial Guyanaisas a launch site. It has its headquarters in Évry, Essonne, France.
The Company and its infrastructure
Arianespace has 24 shareholders from 10 European countries, including: [citeweb|title=Arianespace shareholders represent scientific, technical, financial and political entities from 10 different European countries.|url=http://www.arianespace.com/site/about/shareholders_sub_index.html|publisher=arianespace.com|accessdate=2008-03-07]
As of 1 July 2006, Arianespace employed 271 personnel at its French HQ, at its launch complex at the
Guiana Space Centrein French Guianaand at offices in Washington DC, Singaporeand Tokyo.
Ariane launch vehicles
Since the first launch in 1979, there have been several versions of the Ariane
Ariane 1, first successful launch on December 24, 1979
* Ariane 2, first successful launch on
November 20, 1987"(the first launch on May 30, 1986failed)"
* Ariane 3, first successful launch on
August 4, 1984
Ariane 4, first successful launch on June 15, 1988
Ariane 5, first successful launch on October 30, 1997"(the first launch on June 4, 1996failed)".
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