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Airbus-Safran, the consortium which is building the next-generation Ariane-6 rocket, has agreed to put $440 million (€400m) into the development contract it expects to sign with the European Space Agency.
However, the deal also recognises that an additional €200 million, which at one stage was earmarked towards the new rocket’s developments costs, will now be removed. This ‘extra’ €200 million had been something of a stumbling block in what is still likely to be a massive €3 billion-value contract (which includes the €400 million Airbus-Safran will fund).
There’s already an outline agreement between Airbus-Safran and the European Space Agency, signed in 2014. The new all-embracing contract is expected to be signed in July.
Each launch of an Ariane-6 is likely to cost around €90 million, with the first flights scheduled for 2021-22.