Organization:Launch Services Alliance

From HandWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Launch Services Alliance
Joint venture
Founded2003; 18 years ago (2003)
Productslaunch service provider
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

Launch Services Alliance is a "back-up" launch service provider. It is a joint venture between the multinational aerospace company Arianespace and Japan ese conglomerate Mitsubishi Heavy Industries; initially, the American aerospace firm Boeing Launch Services was involved as well.

LSA was established during 2003.[1] In the event of one of the commercial partners not being able to execute a launch on time, one of the other partners could provide an alternative service, under a set of contractual conditions agreed between the participating companies.[2] Such transfers would be made at the customer's discretion. The LSA offer this service for the Ariane 5 and H-IIA expendable launch systems; it previously offered the Zenit-3SL as well. During 2007, LSA was restructured by Arianespace and Mitsubishi; the principal difference being that Boeing had decided to no longer associate itself with the venture.


Following the end of the Cold War and the institution of the peace dividend, the aerospace industry went through a period of consolidation, mergers and partnerships. More specifically, a glut in affordable space launches during the early 2000s placed incumbent providers under pressure to respond.[3] During 2001, the Japan ese conglomerate Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and American aerospace firm Boeing Launch Services announced the formation of a strategic alliance to cooperate on various space-related opportunities; specifically, this alliance applied to space-based communications, air traffic management, multimedia, navigation, space and communications services, launch services and space infrastructure markets.[4]

During July 2003, the Launch Services Alliance (LSA) was originally formed, then consisting of the multinational aerospace company Arianespace[5] with Japan ese conglomerate Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and United States aerospace firm Boeing Launch Services; at this time, Boeing provided Sea Launch Zenit-3SL launch services at that time.[6][7][8] The decision to switch between launchers is made by the end customer. Despite the formation of LSA, the three partner companies retained autonomy over their own operations and continued to independently market their respective commercial satellite launch capabilities.[9] For Arianespace, its involvement in LSA represented a further diversification of their launch services.[10]

During October 2003, LSA services were used for the first time when Arianespace transferred satellite DirecTV-7S delayed in manufacturing to the Zenit-3SL launch on 4 May 2004.[11][12][13] During May 2004, the first contract for LSA services was signed for the Optus D1 satellite; Ariane 5 was assigned as the primary launch vehicle while the Zenit-3SL was served as backup.[14] During 2005, LSA announced that the organisation had signed its fifth contract.[6]

During April 2007, the LSA was reformed by Arianespace and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries; the main change being the withdrawal of Boeing from any involvement in the venture. Since fiscal year 2007, responsibility for both production and management of the H-IIA launch system was transferred to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the partnership with Arianespace was hoped to help the former enter the market.[2][15]


  1. "Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Arianespace conclude MOU on cooperation in commercial space rocket launches". Arianespace. 7 June 2013. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "MHI and Arianespace to Jointly Offer Satellite Launch Services". Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. 24 April 2007. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  3. "No end in sight for satellite downturn". Flight International. 11 February 2003. 
  4. "Boeing in Japanese alliance". Flight International. 22 June 2001. 
  5. "Arianespace's operational motto: "Any mass, any orbit, any time"". Arianespace. 15 September 2004. Retrieved 18 August 2014. "Arianespace also was a moving force behind the creation of the Launch Services Alliance - a powerful commercial service offering that combines the strength of three leading launch service providers to ensure on time missions for customers around the world. The Launch Services Alliance provides mission assurance by enabling payloads to be switched if necessary between Ariane 5, the Boeing Sea Launch vehicle and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' H-IIA." 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "The Launch Services Alliance takes the spotlight in Washington, D.C. during its first news conference". Arianespace. 22 March 2005. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  7. Jonson, Nick (31 July 2003). "Beoing, Arianespace, MHI form space launch service alliance". Aviation Week. 
  8. "Arianespace: back on track". Flight International. 4 July 2006. 
  9. "Companies sign deal for launch vehicle switch option". Flight International. 5 August 2003. 
  10. "Arianespace: back on track". Flight International. 4 July 2006. 
  11. "Arianespace provides mission assurance to DIRECTV". Arianespace. 30 October 2003. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  12. "SPACE SYSTEMS/LORAL-BUILT DIRECTV 7S SATELLITE SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHED". Loral Space & Communications. 4 May 2004. Retrieved 18 August 2014. "The DIRECTV 7S high power spot beam direct broadcast satellite, built by Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) for DIRECTV Inc., El Segundo, Calif., was successfully launched at 8:42 am EDT today. The satellite was sent into space on a Sea Launch Zenit-3SL rocket from the Odyssey Launch Platform, positioned on the equator in the Pacific Ocean." 
  13. "Launch Services Alliance". Retrieved 1 April 2020. 
  14. "Optus D1 - Groundbreaking Contract". Arianespace. 19 May 2004. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  15. "Arianespace, Mitsubishi Sign Commercial Launch Agreement". 30 April 2007.