Thales Alenia Space Has Banner Year

Jan 28, 2009
By Mike Taverna

PARIS - Thales Alenia Space says it finished 2008 with 23 percent of the geostationary communications satellite market.

The Thales-Finmeccanica joint venture says it landed five awards last year out of 26 worldwide orders, along with four commercial communication payloads and the Redsat payload for the Hispasat AG1 demonstration satellite, co-funded by the European Space Agency (ESA). It also won a contract to build a 15-satellite low Earth orbit constellation for O3b Networks. This compares with six satellites in 2007 (four shared with EADS Astrium) and five in 2006.

In addition, Thales Alenia was selected to build the Sentinel-3 observation satellite for ESA, and to supply optical electronics for Spain's Ingenio surveillance spacecraft.

The company is predicting a bumper crop this year too. In its sights are Iridium's next-generation telecom constellation, for which it was short-listed in 2008; an optical surveillance satellite system for Europe's Musis program; and up to 26 Galileo Full Operating Capability spacecraft.

It has already been picked to supply a surveillance satellite to Turkey with Finmeccanica-Thales sister venture Telespazio, as well as a pair of telecom satellites to Russia's Gazprom and a payload for an Indonesian telecom satellite, associated with Reshetnev ISS of Russia.

Artist's concept of Sentinel-3 satellite: ESA

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