Ariane 4 honoured by US Space Foundation
ESA, CNES and Arianespace joint communication
The Space Achievement Award for 2004 was presented to Arianespace, CNES and ESA by the US Space Foundation at Colorado Springs on 29 March.
This award, granted annually by the USA's Space Foundation, was conferred on the Ariane 4 teams who launched, aboard 116 Ariane 4 vehicles, a total of 182 satellites for 50 customers worldwide.
The Ariane 4 launcher was commissioned in June 1988 and had its final launch on 15 February 2003.
In the words of Jean-Marie Luton, Arianespace Chairman: "This award recognises the excellent performance and reliability of the European launcher. It is a glowing tribute to the remarkable development work carried out by CNES and, generally, to the entire European space industry brought together by ESA. We are particularly honoured to receive this award from such a prestigious institution as the US Space Foundation, which I wish to thank on behalf of all the people who have been involved in this magnificent endeavour."
Yannick d'Escatha, President of CNES, stated that "the success of Ariane 4 was linked - and this went back to Ariane 1 - to Europe's unwavering political determination to maintain a strategy for access to space, together with its organisational and technical continuity. This was an impressive achievement, one which has enabled Europe, thanks to its industry and Arianespace, to secure over 50% of the launch services market. Ariane 5, the latest in this line of launchers, will make it possible for us to consolidate our strategic position."
At the award ceremony in Colorado Springs, ESA's Director of Launchers, Antonio Fabrizi, who was representing ESA's Director General, Jean-Jacques Dordain, said: "We are thankful to the US Space Foundation for the honour they have granted us. We share it proudly with all those who within CNES, Arianespace and industry have helped ESA in accomplishing such a success story for Europe. We are committed to continue along these tracks with today's heavy launch Ariane 5 and the future light launcher Vega and Soyuz."