Arianespace’ Soyuz rocket positioned on the launch pad.
Arianespace’ Soyuz rocket positioned on the launch pad
Launch operator Arianespace operates the Soyuz medium launcher at the Guiana Space Centre (Soyuz CSG or Arianespace Soyuz) to accompany the light Vega and heavy-lift Ariane 5. The updated Soyuz 2 vehicle is supplied by Roscosmos with TsSKB-Progress and NPO Lavochkin, while additional components are supplied by Airbus Defense & Space, Thales Alenia Space and RUAG from Switzerland.
The Soyuz launcher can orbit spacecraft with a maximum payload mass of 4,4 tonnes to LEO and 3,25 tonnes to GTO. Soyuz is a four-stage launcher, designed to high reliability levels with more than 1,900 manned and unmanned missions performed to date.
Arianespace is one of the world’s leading satellite launch company, operating a full family of launchers: Ariane 5 for heavy lift spacecraft, the Soyuz for medium size and Vega for light weight spacecraft.
The French multinational company was the world’s first commercial launch serviceprovider and operates five locations worldwide for the production, operation and marketing of the Ariane program. Arianespace operates its launch services from South America (at the Spaceport in French Guiana) and Central Asia (at Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazachstan).
The company was founded in 1980 and has its headquarters in Courcouronnes, France, near Paris. Arianespace, a subsidiary of The Arianegroup, launched more than 550 satellites since 1980. Total revenues in 2018 exceeded 1.4 billion euros.
On 21 October 2011 Arianespace launched the first Soyuz rocket ever from outside former Soviet territory. The payload was two Galileo navigation satellites.
Arianespace primary shareholders are its suppliers, in the various nations of the EU. Arianespace currently has 20 shareholders with France as the largest stakeholder (64%) in the Ariane development program. Other countries that support the program are Germany (20%), Belgium (3,5%), Denmark, Spain (2%), Italy (3%), The Netherlands (2%), Norway (0,1%), Sweden and Switzerland (2,7%).