ESA is pushing European industry to continue innovating and finding efficiencies even after Vega C’s introduction in 2019 and Ariane 6’s debut in 2020.
European Space Agency member states have agreed to keep all production of P120 solid rocket boosters in Italy instead of opening a second production line in Germany.
European launch provider Arianespace expects to conduct just 23 more Ariane 5 launches before the next-generation Ariane 6 becomes its primary rocket.
Ariane 5 is one of the world’s most reliable launcher but its makers aren’t resting on their laurels. Following the 2015 creation of Airbus Safran Launchers, a joint venture between the two main contributors to the European rocket program, the company renamed itself to ArianeGroup and embarked on a journey through the quickly changing space industry landscape.
Europe’s upcoming Ariane 6 rocket, though designed to be expendable, could one day sport a reusable engine, according to Patrick Bonguet, head of the Ariane 6 program at ArianeGroup.
The European Space Agency stepped up to be Arianespace’s first customer for the next-generation Ariane 6 rocket, while keeping Soyuz as a backup option.
Fresh off the successful launch of an all-electric satellite on an Ariane 5 rocket, satellite fleet operator Eutelsat announced June 2 a commitment to launch three more satellites with Arianespace and signaled an early interest in using the next-generation Ariane 6.
Satellite and rocket hardware builder OHB of Germany on Nov. 16 said delays in its supply chain had put pressure on its revenue in recent months but that the company’s full-year profitability would be unaffected.
The European Space Agency’s ruling council on Nov. 3 gave what should be the final endorsement needed to free up development funds for the next-generation Ariane 6 launch after a compromise on work shares between Italy and Germany.
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.
The French space agency, CNES, on July 8 updated its policy direction including investment in a U.S.-led environment-monitoring satellite, a recommitment to the International Space Station and a nuanced view of whether reusable rockets would take the commercial market by storm and make the future Ariane 6 rocket obsolete.
France’s space minister on June 1 urged a redoubled European effort in space research, and specifically in next-generation rockets, in the face of what he said were increased investments by the United States and other major space powers.
Negotiations will start by June between the now fully operational Airbus Safran Launchers (ASL) and the European Space Agency on the ASL’s bid to complete construction of the future Ariane 6 rocket, ESA Launcher Director Gaele Winters said.
Europe’s rocket industry has gone 40 years by integrating its Ariane rockets vertically and then rolling them out by rail, upright, to the launch pad. That is about to end.