Wednesday 16 December, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall and ESA Director General Johann-Dietrich Wörner signed the contract to renew and upgrade Europe’s spaceport in French Guiana (CSG) for 2020-2024. This contract is the result of decisions reached at the Space19+ ESA Council at ministerial level in Seville in November 2019.
It amounts to:
• €413 million for the maintenance in operational condition of the launch base;
• €93 million for the renovation and modernization program in terms of infrastructure and operational concepts: CSG New Generation, so-called Core Launch Range Renewal.
These amounts are supplemented by CNES’s own sustainment funding of €206 million and €47 million for upgrades. Funds appropriated to the CSG thus total €759 million, of which France is contributing 56%. CNES is also in charge of range safety and security at the base, to protect people, property and the environment in accordance with international and national laws and regulations.
The overarching objectives of the Core Launch Range Renewal are:
• To enhance and secure the Launch Range availability and reliability through a major overhaul of the main networks and utilities, factoring in sustainable development requirements.
• To upgrade facilities and operational processes, to achieve maintenance and operating cost savings in the medium term.
• To Increase flexibility and adaptability supporting the achievement of Ariane 6 and Vega C high level requirements, as well as to new customer needs like ridesharing, new payloads and optimization of launch campaign schedules.
• To achieve better energy efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint. In turn, cost savings attained will also benefit the launch service provider and production facilities at the base.
• To Maintain the CSG’s attractiveness and the level of excellence that Europe’s space programme has come to expect, while offering the highest level of quality, reliability and availability to customers from all over the world and readying the base for the 21st century.
• And lastly, to improve the visitor experience.
The launch base was last upgraded 25 years ago through the CSG 2000 project to ready it for the arrival of Ariane 5.
The CSG has been funded by ESA’s Member States since 1975 within the frame of the agreement between France and ESA and resolutions governing funding for successive periods of five years. These resolutions require all ESA members (including France) to fund two-thirds of the costs of maintaining the launch range in operational conditions, with France funding the remaining one-third directly from its own budget.