On the occasion of the Paris Air Show, the French operator announced a new launch contract (on Ariane 5 or Ariane 6) and a contract amendment (from Ariane 5 to Ariane 6).
Daniel Neuenschwander, Director of Space Transportation at the European Space Agency, previously announced in Air&Cosmos n°2638 of April 26th: among the launches that could become part of the Ariane 6 manifesto there is a mission of the Cosmic Vision program of the ESA (2015-2025), now programmed for mid-2022 — Juice (JUpiter ICy moons Explorer).
Built under the prime contractor Airbus Defence and Space, Juice is intended to explore Jupiter’s Galilean satellites.
Its launch, either by an Ariane 5 ECA or by an Ariane 64, was formalized on June 17th during the 53rd Paris Air Show.
Ariane 64’s first client.
The most powerful version of the future European heavy-lift launcher was particularly glorified since Arianespace also announced an evolution of the contract signed on February 2016 with the American telecommunications operator ViaSat for its ViaSat 3.
By transferring the payload from an Ariane 5 ECA to an Ariane 64, ViaSat becomes its first commercial client in 2021.