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Thursday October 5: Bordeaux, in south west France, was the backdrop for the baptism of Canopée, the hybrid-propulsion sailing freighter custom-built for ArianeGroup for the transport of Ariane 6.
Travelling up the river Garonne, the imposing vessel swept beneath two bridges, Pont d’Aquitaine and Pont Chaban-Delmas, to arrive at Bordeaux’s Port de la Lune, right in the city center.
The ceremony, organized by the shipowner Jifmar, brought together around 300 people, including several local government representatives and MEP Catherine Chabaud, a passionate sailor.
The day after the baptism, Canopée set off for its next port of call, the Hanseatic city of Bremen in northern Germany.
This stop in Bremen was to test the logistics of the harbor infrastructure with partner BLG Logistics Group for the loading of the Ariane 6 upper stage.
Pierre Godart, CEO of ArianeGroup GmbH, and Jens Lassmann, head of ArianeGroup’s Bremen site, had the honor of welcoming the City of Bremen’s Mayor Andreas Bovenschulte to introduce him to the new sustainability milestone in space and maritime transport that Canopée represents.
Equipped with four Oceanwings®, Canopée is not only a flagship for the decarbonisation of maritime transport, it underlines ArianeGroup’s approach to seeking out environmentally friendly solutions for a more sustainable space industry.
The world’s first sailing cargo ship, Canopée can transport all the Ariane 6 launcher components from continental Europe to Kourou, French Guiana, in a single voyage.
Each voyage between Europe and French Guiana will include a number of ports of call: Bremen (upper stage), Rotterdam (half-fairing), Le Havre (core stage produced in Les Mureaux near Paris and shipped via river Seine), Bordeaux (solid propulsion components and booster parts produced in Nouvelle Aquitaine), and finally Kourou for delivery of the launcher components to the European Spaceport. The whole journey takes around 27 days.