Thales Alenia Space

Thales Alenia Space is the French-Italian aerospace manufacturer formed after the Thales Group bought the participation of Alcatel in the two joint ventures between Alcatel and Finmeccanica, Alcatel Alenia Space and Telespazio.

The company is one of Europe's largest satellite manufacturers and one of the world’s leading manufacturers of communications satellites, platforms and payloads, which account for 50% of its business, offering a complete range of solutions, from high-performance components to turnkey systems. The Spacebus family of geostationary platforms meets the needs of operators from around the world, and the payloads have proven their performance, reliability and competitiveness on satellites made by all leading manufacturers.

Thales Alenia Space built the Multi-Purpose Logistics Modules that were used to transport cargo inside the Space Shuttle orbiters. The company also a leading supplier for the ISS (International Space Station) and built several modules.

In the mid-90’s, the US stopped issuing export licenses to companies to allow them to launch on Chinese launch vehicles out of fear that this would help China's military. In the face of this, Thales Alenia Space built the Chinasat-6B satellite for ChinaSat with no components from the US. This allowed it to be launched on a Chinese launch vehicle without violating US ITAR restrictions. The launch, on a Long March 3B rocket of launch operator CGWIC, was successfully conducted in 2007.

The company operates 14 industrial sites and has 7,500 employees in France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Germany and the US, and posted total revenues of 2.9 billion euro in 2012, 2,1 million euro in 2013 and 2.5 million euro in 2014.

Thales Alenia Space has more than 40 years of experience in the design, integration, testing, operation and commissioning of innovative space systems. Featuring cutting-edge technologies, these systems meet the needs of commercial, government, scientific, defense and security customers from around the world. The satellites and payloads designed by Thales Alenia Space set the global standard for space systems that provide communications and navigation services, monitor our environment and the oceans, help us better understand climate change and drive scientific progress.

Thales Alenia Space is also the world leader in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) commercial constellations, with more than 150 satellites ordered for the Iridium NEXT, Globalstar Second Generation and O3b systems. Its expertise reaches back to the 1990s, when being the leading contributor to the first-generation Globalstar system, delivering a total of 72 satellites. Thales Alenia Space has always been at the forefront of geolocation solutions in Europe, being the prime contractor for Egnos, in charge of producing this navigation overlay system. Thales Alenia Space is a key partner for Galileo, providing the system and the Ground Mission Segment (GMS).

Thales Alenia Space has been the prime contractor for European weather satellites for more than three decades. After delivering seven first-generation Meteosat and four Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) satellites, Thales Alenia Space was selected for the Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) program, comprising four imaging and two atmospheric sounding satellites. The company also provides today’s most powerful and sensitive atmospheric instruments, the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI), for the MetOp satellites.

Thales Alenia Space major competitors are Boeing Commercial Satellite Systems (BCSS), Lockheed Martin, Space Systems/Loral (MDA), Airbus Defense & Space and JSC Information Satellite Systems. As of September 2015, there are xx Thales Alenia Space-built GEO satellites currently in orbit.

History & merges of Thales Alenia Space

Alcatel Alenia Space was established on June 1st, 2005 by the merger of Alcatel Space and Alenia Spazio and was owned for 67% by Alcatel-Lucent and for 33% by Finmeccanica.

The creation of the company was concurrent with the creation of Telespazio Holding, which was a merger of Finmeccanica and Alcatel businesses (Telespazio and Alcatel's Space Services and Operations).

On April 5th 2006 Alcatel agreed to sell its share of Alcatel Alenia Space (including its 33% share of Telespazio) to the Thales Group to form Thales Alenia Space.