Arianespace SA is a French company founded in 1980 as the world's first commercial space transportation company.[2] It undertakes the production, operation, and marketing of the Ariane 5 rocket launcher as part of the Ariane programme.[3]
As of 2004[update], Arianespace held more than 50 percent of the world market for boosting satellites to geostationary transfer orbit (GTO).[4] 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.[3] Arianespace uses the Centre Spatial Guyanais as a launch site. It has its headquarters in Courcouronnes, Essonne, France,[5] near Évry.[6]

The company and its infrastructure
Arianespace has 24 shareholders from 10 European countries, including:[7]
* CNES (34%)
* EADS (30%)
Country Shareholders Capital
France 7 60.12%
Germany 2 18.62%
Italy 2 9.36%
Belgium 3 3.15%
Switzerland 2 2.51%
Sweden 2 2.30%
Spain 3 2.01%
Netherlands 1 1.82%
Norway 1 0.10%
Denmark 1 not significant
Total of 99.99% due to round-off
Corporate management is structured as follows:
Position Name
CEO & Chairman Jean-Yves Le Gall
Quality Vice-President Gérard Gradel
Senior Vice-President of Programs Laurent Louis
Senior Vice-President of Marketing Jacques Breton
General Secretary, Senior Vice-President of Finances Jean-Max Puech
Senior Vice-President of Engineering Édouard Perez
Location of Office Head of Branch
Évry, France Jean-Yves Le Gall
United States Clayton Mowry
Tokyo, Japan Jean-Louis Claudon
Singapore Richard Bowles
As of 1 January 2010, Arianespace employed 323 personnel at its French headquarters, at its launch complex at the Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana, and at offices in Singapore, Tokyo, and Washington, D.C.
Ariane launch vehicles
Since the first launch in 1979, there have been several versions of the Ariane launch vehicle:
* Ariane 1, first successful launch on December 24, 1979
* Ariane 2, first successful launch on November 20, 1987 (the first launch on May 30, 1986 failed)
* 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, 1996 failed).

See also
Spaceflight portal
Paris portal
Companies portal
* Europa rocket

1. ^ "A launch for the International Space Station". Arianespace. Retrieved 2008-04-06.
2. ^ "Ariane - The first commercial space transportation system". Retrieved 2008-03-07.
3. ^ a b "Arianespace was founded in 1980 as the world’s first launch services and solutions company.". Retrieved 2008-03-07.
4. ^ John McCormick (2004). The European Union (3 ed.). Westview Press. pp. 273. ISBN 978-0813342023.
5. ^ "Russians, French sign space contract.(UPI Science Report)." United Press International. 12 April 2005. Retrieved on 24 September 2009.
6. ^ "Contact us." Arianespace. Retrieved on 24 September 2009.
7. ^ "Arianespace shareholders represent scientific, technical, financial and political entities from 10 different European countries.". Retrieved 2008-03-07.

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