Spaceflightnow(3/22) Spaceflightnow(3/22)
Jean-Yves Le Gall氏とのインタビュー記事。興味深い部分を抜粋。


we think this year the market will be quite robust because we see many projects in Asia - the area going from Arabian Gulf to California over Asia and the Pacific.
I was in Dubai two weeks ago, and there are many projects for companies like AsiaSat, Arabsat, Al Yah. There are also plenty of projects for small satellites for Earth observation. There are projects in almost every country in Asia. (...)In many countries in Asia, there is a huge growth and a real need for space communications because they don't have terrestrial networks. This is where the growth is.
What we see is that, in fact, there is a move of our market. Ten years ago, when I joined the company, it was about 40 percent in the U.S., 40 percent in Europe, and 20 percent in Asia. Five years ago, it was one-third in each area. And now, we are moving to a situation where we have 25 percent in the Americas, 25 percent in Europe, and half of our activity in Asia.


The prices with Ariane are quite stable, as is our quality. I think, for our competitors, pricing is increasing as quality is decreasing. The Proton prices are increasing in an incredible way. Six or seven years ago, a Proton launch was under $50 million. Today, it's over $110 million.(...)We have a business model which is very specific in conjunction with the European governments. I think our customers accept this business model.


Question: Are there any plans to move all commercial Soyuz launches to French Guiana?
Le Gall: We can sustain only three or four Soyuz launches in French Guiana a year. We see there is business for more than three or four launches, so we will continue to perform launches from Baikonur.

・Hosted Payload(Military payloadを搭載した商業衛星)について:機会創出であり歓迎

It is clear that hosted payloads makes this business more robust. We welcome hosted payloads because, in some ways, it transfers from the government market, and we are not in this government market, to the commercial market. (...)We see that some commercial satellites would never exist without hosted payloads.

・Dual Launch戦略の今後について:Protonの能力上限による大型化の制約で、当面は3〜3.2tonと6tonの組合せは継続可能

I met many of our customers yesterday and this morning, and they stick to what we call the two sweet points, which are satellites around 3 or 3.2 tonnes and satellites around 6 tonnes. This is for a very simple reason. They do not want to have a satellite which can be launched only by one launcher.This is for a very simple reason. They do not want to have a satellite which can be launched only by one launcher. So the Proton today, with the same approach as Ariane, has a performance which is about 6.2 tonnes.


Question: On the medium end of that scale, in the 3.2-tonne range, do you see much growth in that mass?
Le Gall: Not so much. There were some ideas to grow because of SpaceX proposing a capacity of 4 tonnes or something like that. But now SpaceX is not very credible.
Question: What's your feeling about SpaceX? You said it's not credible.
Le Gall: I think that, to be credible, SpaceX will have to perform a number of successful launches, and after that, we will see. But today, we don't see so many launches.