Published On: Mon, Aug 26th, 2019

SpaceX latest: Falcon Heavy Ovzon ditches company for Arianespace | Science | News

The offer from Arianespace for a 2021 launch aboard an Ariane 5 prompted Ovzon to exit an agreement to launch its first fully owned satellite on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy. The Swedish based company disclosed the switch to Ariane 5 in an earnings report this week. It said it had “recently contracted Arianespace to launch our satellite in 2021.”

Ovzon added: “We have thus left the preliminary agreements we had.”

In a SpaceNews interview, Ovzon CEO Magnus René claimed the company received a more appealing launch offer from Arianspace.

He said: “It’s nothing political or anything like that, it’s not that we don’t trust SpaceX.

“It’s just that we could get a better deal in cost and time and so on from Ariane at this time.”

Ovzon announced its Falcon Heavy agreement in October 2018, with former CEO Per Wahlberg describing it as a contract.

Mr Wahlberg said in October: “Contracting the launch supplier of our first Ovzon satellite is an important and exciting step for our company.

“SpaceX offered a very competitive solution with the Falcon Heavy launch vehicle which will gain us access to space in a timely and reliable manner.”

Mr René claimed Ovzon’s agreement with SpaceX was tentative.

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There was no suggestions the switch in vehicles would change any schedule.

Mr René claimed the company envisions having multiple satellites for global coverage so may return to SpaceX for future missions.

He said: “Next time we may use SpaceX, we think they had a very good offer as well but Ariane’s offer at this time was better,”

He declined to say what specifically made Arianespace’s offer more appealing than SpaceX’s.

Ovzon currently uses leased capacity from other satellite operators to provide connectivity services.

The company signed an agreement with Intelsat in April to use capacity on the Intelsat-39 satellite.

It was launched earlier this month on an Ariane 5.

Intelsat has a £46million agreement with Ovzon to use capacity on Ovzon-3 following its launch.

Hispasat, a Spanish operator, also has an agreement with Ovzon to jointly offer portable broadband products that use its satellite capacity with Ovzon’s ground technology.

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