Ariane 6 decision reached

A European Space Agency-sponsored ministerial meeting in Luxembourg today, (December 2nd) is expected to approve the design and construction of the Ariane 6 ‘modular’ rocket system.

The concept calls for overall funding of €3.8 billion ($4.7bn) and resolves the long-running wrangling and delays in the planning of various intermediate proposals, but has now decided on the ‘heavy lift’ Ariane 6.  The first rocket is due to test fly in 2020.

By using a modular system Arianespace hopes to bring its overall launch costs down, and to be more competitive with arch-rival Elon Musk’s SpaceX, and which charges about $60 million to launch a satellite.

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