Paris, 12 May 2004
As they announced the signing of the contract by Arianespace for the launch of two Australian satellites, Optus D1 and Optus D2, on Ariane 5 and Soyuz from the Guiana Space Centre, ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain and the Director General of the Federal Space Agency (Russia), Anatoli Perminov, declared themselves very satisfied with the contract, which showed that ESA Member States had been right to decide to integrate Soyuz into the family of European launchers operated by Arianespace from the Guiana Space Centre.
Optus D1 will be placed into orbit by an Ariane 5 at the end of 2005, while Optus D2 will be the passenger on the first Soyuz launcher to take off from the Guiana Space Centre in 2007.
For more information, contact:
ESA Media Relations Division
Tel: + 33(0)126.96.36.19955