Arianespace has ordered the construction of an additional 18 Ariane 5 rockets.


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Arianespace has ordered the construction of an additional 18 Ariane 5 rockets.

This construction order, if it reflects actual launch contracts, gives Arianespace some margin while it works to find ways to compete in the launch business, as expressed by the last sentence of the above article: “Astrium managers recently called for a thorough overhaul of the Ariane contractor mix with a view to reducing prices to stay viable in the competitive world commercial launch market.”

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5 comments

  • Pzatchok

    It sort of sounds like they negotiated for a significantly lower price and made a good deal.

  • Kelly Starks

    Agreed. The bulk purchase brings the cost per unit to about $150m per. Though you do wonder what new market they see for 18 A-5s? If by heavy lift Ariane-5’s they mean the ES, thats a 21 ton to LEO capacity per launch. Do they have someone in mind? Or are they buying all that capacity on spec?

  • Pzatchok

    Maybe Germany? Lifting passengers could be a possibility.

    At least with the Dream Chaser module they would have the ability to go to and from the ISS at will.

  • wade

    I hate to sound like a conspiracy monger. Yet. after monitoring Many launches from several Nations to the ISS, there is the amount of tonnage Delivered in food and oxygen as well as other perishables.

  • Kelly Starks

    Could be. With Shuttle gone, and Soyuz/Progress relyability in decline (and Putin getting weird about such things) they could see a potential for a new market there — but it will be a couple years before you get the new boosters, and ISS could well be a ion tril in the atmospher in 6 years…

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