Europe to make the Ariane rockets more competitive with SpaceX

No, not “airline” rockets. Ariane rockets. According to The Wall Street Journal, EU ministers are finally about to approve plans for a more affordable version of the Ariane series, the same family that launched Rosetta back in 2004. What counts as affordable when developing a rocket, is reportedly between five and six billion dollars. The European Space Agency makes no secret that its goal is to compete with commercial entities like SpaceX, which already has a program to deliver supplies  to the ISS.

European politicians are poised to approve a new generation of lower-cost rockets, partly in response to competition from U.S. launch providers, according to government and aerospace-industry officials on both sides of the Atlantic. The officials said European Union ministers, faced with the growing success of Southern California-based Space Exploration Technologies Corp., are likely to ratify the decision to develop and build updated versions of Europe’s venerable Ariane rocket for about €4 billion ($5 billion) at a meeting in Luxembourg early next week. If all goes well, the inaugural flight would blast off around the end of the decade. The aim is to create a more commerce-oriented and efficient European space industry, able to cut launch prices significantly while consolidating manufacturing sites. A more difficult challenge would be to phase out various forms of government subsidies for European launchers, a goal that so far has eluded the region’s political leaders.

Categorized as Legal, Space

By Chastity Mansfield

I'm a writer, an amateur designer, and a collector of trinkets that nobody else wants. You can find me on Noozeez, Google+, and Twitter.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *