EchoStar, operator of the DISH satellite-to-home service, and Arianespace, a space launch facility in French Guiana, have signed a new contract for the launch of multiple new satellites over several years from the European space facility.
The new contract continues a longstanding relationship between EchoStar and Arianespace that began in 1996.
“In July, EchoStar’s wholly owned subsidiary, Hughes, completed the successful launch of EchoStar XVII with Arianespace, giving us confidence in Arianespace’s ability to execute on future launches,” said Anders Johnson, president of EchoStar Satellite Services. “The Ariane 5 vehicle has been a reliable, flight-proven launch system. We look forward to relying on Ariane 5 to deliver on-time success in the execution of our near term expansion programs.”
In a separate statement, Michael Dugan, president and CEO for EchoStar, noted that “with this new Arianespace contract, we remain at the forefront of state-of-the-art DTH services while significantly expanding transponder capacity.”
In 2012, Arianespace performed eight successful launches: six Ariane 5, one Soyuz and one Vega. Starsem, its European-Russian subsidiary, has also carried out a launch of Soyuz from the Baikonur cosmodrome. The company has a Soyuz launch plus another Ariane 5 launch before the end of the year.
Overall, Arianespace claims that it has “more than 50 percent of the commercial satellite launch market.”
Headquartered in Englewood, CO, with additional business units worldwide, EchoStar has achieved advancements in the set-top box and satellite industries for more than 30 years. Its consumer solutions include HughesNet, North America’s No.1 high-speed satellite Internet service, Sling Media’s Slingbox products and EchoStar’s line of advanced digital video set-top box products for the international free satellite and terrestrial viewer markets.
Arianespace is backed by 21 shareholders and the European Space Agency. As of today, the company has a backlog of 18 Ariane 5, 13 Soyuz and three Vega launches, equal to more than three years of business.