Arianespace ‘wins’ SpaceX battle
January 7, 2016
By Chris Forrester
There are only two significant players in the satellite launch industry. Arianespace of France, and SpaceX of the US. The other names (ILS/Proton, Sea Launch, United Launch Alliance) are not unimportant, but don’t even get close in terms of satellite launches.
Arianespace, notwithstanding the pre-Christmas spectacular launch and return to Earth of a SpaceX rocket stage, claims that it is very much in the driving seat as far as winning launch business. CEO Stephane Israel briefing journalists said 2015 was a “record year” for the Evry, France business and that 2016 was shaping up to be a similar year. 2015 saw Ariane win 14 launch contracts for geostationary satellites.
Israel says SpaceX had each won 9 new orders, with ILSA/Proton winning just one, and order went to an Atlas-5 rocket of the United Launch Alliance.