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Arianespace slashes launch costs to match SpaceX

January 24, 2019

By Chris Forrester

A senior executive at Arianespace says the company will discount the launch costs for its remaining Ariane 5 rockets in order to compete with SpaceX. Arianespace is developing a lower cost Ariane 6 version, and the new prices will reflect the lower costs promised for the new Ariane 6.

Arianespace’s MD/Head of sales for the Asia/Pac region, Vivian Quenet, said the new Ariane 6 would be some 40 percent cheaper helped by design changes and higher production volumes, and be closer in line with the launch rates charged by Elon Musk’s SpaceX rocket system.

Quenet, speaking in Singapore, said potential customers were being offered Ariane 5 launches at the same price as Ariane 6.

“We have made a lot of effort on the sales price. When we do that, the result is very positive,” Quenet told Reuters on January 25th, declining to discuss details of profitability.

Arianespace is pitching for at least two Asia-Pac-based customers this year, and expects tenders to be on offer from another three clients.

Arianespace is on record saying it expects to carry out 12 launches this year, and with each rocket potentially able to carry two satellites that could mean 24 satellites could be orbited.

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