Thales Alenia Space

Thales Alenia Space
Industry Aerospace
Headquarters Cannes, France
Key people
Jean-Loïc Galle, President and CEO
1.8 billion euro (2004)
Number of employees
7,200 (Nov. 2006)
Parent Thales Group & Finmeccanica
Website Thales Alenia Space
The Headquarters of Thales Alenia Space in the seashore building of the Cannes Mandelieu Space Center

Thales Alenia Space is a Franco-Italian aerospace manufacturer formed[1] after the Thales Group bought the participation of Alcatel in the two joint-ventures between Alcatel and Finmeccanica, Alcatel Alenia Space and Telespazio.[2] The company is Europe's largest satellite manufacturer.


Alcatel Alenia Space was established on June 1, 2005 by the merger of Alcatel Space and Alenia Spazio and was owned by Alcatel-Lucent (67%) and Finmeccanica (33%).

The creation of the company was concurrent with the creation of Telespazio Holding. This too was a merger of Finmeccanica and Alcatel businesses (Telespazio and Alcatel's Space Services and Operations respectively).

On April 5, 2006 Alcatel agreed to sell its share of Alcatel Alenia Space (and its 33% share of Telespazio) to Thales Group.[3]

The European Union agreed in this financial operation on April 10, 2007.[4]


The company built the Multi-Purpose Logistics Modules, which was used to transport cargo inside the Space Shuttle orbiters. They also built several modules for the International Space Station, those modules are Cupola, Columbus, Harmony, Tranquility and Leonardo. They currently build the pressurized vessels for the Automated Transfer Vehicle and Cygnus spacecraft.

In the mid-1990s, the United States stopped issuing export licenses to companies to allow them to launch on Chinese launch vehicles out of fear that this would help China's military. In the face of this, Thales Alenia Space built the Chinasat-6B satellite with no components from the United States whatsoever. This allowed it to be launched on a Chinese launch vehicle without violating U.S. ITAR restrictions.[5] The launch, on a Long March 3B rocket, was successfully conducted on July 5, 2007.


In 2015, Thales Alenia Space had 7500 employees and from 2013 operates in 14 industrial sites located in seven countries (France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, United Kingdom, Germany and United States):

Executive Board

Current CEO is Jean-Loïc Galle since September 2012, replacing Reynald Seznec.

See also


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