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Arianespace is a private company incorporated in 1980 with headquarters in Paris to produce, market, and launch Ariane launch vehicles and to operate and maintain the Guiana Space Centre. Arianespace has become a leading player in the $3.2 billion commercial-satellite-launching industry, accounting for about half of all the tonnage sent into orbit for business purposes each year.

Among the shareholders of Arianespace are 36 leading European space and electronics corporations, 13 major banks, and the French space agency, CNES. Twelve countries are represented in Arianespace: Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

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