The commercial communications satellite operator Eutelsat has made a five-launch booking with Arianespace for its new Ariane 6 launch vehicle. The launches are set to take place from July 2022 to 2027. While launch orders and options have been received from ESA and similar civil and military organisations, this order represents the first commercial launch order for Ariane 6.

While the exact version of the launch vehicle has yet to be set – either the Ariane 62 or 64 could be used – the news was a filip to Arianespace. The firm has yet to commit to a full production order to ArianeGroup as it has yet to receive any bulk launch orders from ESA or European governments.

Ariane 62 and 64 configurations now have tapered in booster cones. Courtesy: ESA