Arianespace lowered the startup window for Vega C and Ariane 6

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Arianespace lowered the startup window for Vega C and Ariane 6

He added the Vega C launch would be the company’s second of the year, following the Ariane 5 launch from French Guiana on June 22 with a pair of geostationary satellites from Malaysia and India.

He did not say which payload Vega C will be carrying on its first flight.

The executive said Arianespace had received “a lot of requests” from many Asian countries seeking to develop sovereign launch vehicles and Earth observation satellites.

Vega C had previously been slated to perform its maiden flight toward the end of June, while the Ariane 6 debut was scheduled for the second half of the year.

Story Highlights

  • During a fireside talk at Asia Satellite Business Week in Singapore, Vivian Quenet, Arianespace’s managing director and head of sales for the Asia-Pacific region, announced the timetable.

  • “After that one [Ariane 5 launch] we will have the maiden flight of the Vega C” in first week of July, Quenet said, and then “towards the end of the year, we have the maiden flight of Ariane 6, which is our heavy launcher which will replace Ariane 5.”

The France-based company is “discussing with those countries to see how we can help them,” he added, without giving further details.

He called Russia’s war in Ukraine a “black swan” that has taken a toll on the company’s launch capacity and planning.

“We had an impact because we had 11 launches planned on [Russian rocket] Soyuz,” he said. “And because of the collaboration was suspended due to the sanction, we had to find solutions for those eleven launchers.

“Sometimes we’ve been helping our customers to reach out to our competitors to find a solution.” However, he expects the situation will improve as Vega C and Ariane 6 become operational in coming months.