The European Commission will commit to buying at least five Ariane 6 and two Vega C launches per year when both rockets are in operation, Elzbieta Bienkowska, the European Commission’s lead space commissioner, said Wednesday.
The European Space Agency (ESA) on Sept. 13 gave final go-ahead for development of the next-generation Ariane 6 heavy-lift launch vehicle, confirming a rendezvous that many thought impossible when it was set in December 2014.
Mobile satellite services provider Inmarsat is all but certain to miss a European regulatory deadline for its satellite-terrestrial aeronautical broadband service, raising the possibility that one or more governments could revoke Inmarsat’s rights to the radio spectrum, industry officials said.
The European Commission on July 20 approved the Airbus Safran Launchers (ASL) takeover of launch-services provider Arianespace, saying companies had accepted conditions the commission imposed to minimize the chance of anti-competitive behavior.
A draft summary of the European Commission’s space policy raises the issue of retooling Europe’s Galileo navigation and Copernicus Earth observation programs to make them more attractive to Europe’s military forces and whether Europe’s spaceport in South America should receive commission financing.
A Europeanized Russian Soyuz rocket on May 24 successfully placed two European Galileo positioning, navigation and timing satellites into medium-Earth orbit – the 13th and 14th in a series of 26 Galileo spacecraft, with more to come.
European antitrust authorities appear poised to withhold immediate approval of the purchase by Airbus Safran Launchers of the French government’s stake in launch-service provider Arianespace pending an investigation that could last for several months, European industry officials said.