ESA and CNES rolesThrough its Launch Vehicles Directorate (DLA), CNES manages the programme’s technical and financial aspects, and has responsibility for prototype qualification flights.
DLA teams provide expertise in:
- Project management
- Management control
- Contract oversight
- Quality assurance and dependability (RAMS)
Ariane 5 ECA on its launch pad. Credits: CNES/ESA/Arianespace/CSG Service optique.
Since 2005, the restructuring of the space sector has led CNES to forge closer ties with ESA oversight teams and provide support to them. Joint ESA/CNES teams have been formed to lead the way.
The Ariane 5 industrial set-up and geographic work share are somewhat different to those that existed for Ariane 1 to 4.
For the first time, France provided less than 50% of funding, and the design tasks involved more European partners.As with the previous series of launchers, Arianespace is in charge of marketing Ariane 5 and conducting launch operations at the Guiana Space Centre.
Arianespace operates all Ariane 5 launches, the first qualification flight (501) being the only exception. CNES holds a 34% share of Arianespace, which has a total of 50 shareholders from 12 European nations.