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South Korea selects Arianespace for satellite launches

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South Korea recently selected Arianespace over SpaceX to launch to satellites in 2018 and 2019.

South Korea selects Arianespace for satellite launches

South Korea recently selected Arianespace over SpaceX to launch to satellites in 2018 and 2019.

Ariane 5 rockets will launch the GEO-Kompsat 2A and GEO Kompsat 2B satellites into geostationary orbits.

Arianespace’s contract with Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) reflects a strong confidence in Arianespace’s impressive track record of 47 consecutive successful launches.

South Korean officials acknowledged that SpaceX has revolutionized the market but felt more comfortable with Arianespace.

Arianespace has reportedly instituted a discount for smaller sized satellites to be loaded in the lower section of the Ariane 5 dual-payload cargo bay.

“Arianespace is extremely proud of its selection by the Korean space agency, KARI,” said Stephane Israel, Arianespace’s chairman and CEO. “Our last launch for KARI occurred in 2010. Now, we have been chosen again by KARI to launch these two impressive meteorological observation missions. Contributing to Korean space achievements is a great honor for Arianespace. I would once again like to thank the Korea Aerospace Research Institute for selecting us. Arianespace will deliver,” he added.

Both satellites will be built by KARI in South Korea and will each weigh nearly 3, 500 kilograms (7,700 pounds).

The satellites will orbit the earth at an altitude of 22,300 miles at a position of 128.2 degrees east longitude.

South Korea budgeted 720 million won ($650 million) for the program.

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