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The competition heats up: Arianespace will not be able to set its launch manifest for the remainder of this year until late July.
The year’s third Ariane 5 mission is scheduled for launch in late July carrying the large Alphasat satellite for mobile satellite services operator Inmarsat of London and the European Space Agency (ESA); and India’s Insat-3D telecommunications satellite.
Beyond that, Israel said, it is unclear which commercial payloads will be placed on which of the two remaining Ariane 5 flights, scheduled for this fall, or what the Ariane 5 manifest looks like for 2014. A big question is whether Arianespace has any slots open in the Ariane 5 manifest in 2014 to accommodate new customers who want to switch to Ariane 5 because their selected vehicle is late.
This article not only suggests that Arianespace has more business than it can handle, it is also provides evidence that the company is scrambling to cut costs in order to compete.