ArianeGroup successfully tests solid rocket booster


A quick holiday fund-raising campaign for Behind the Black!
 
Scroll down to read this post.
 
In past years I have managed to avoid asking for donations for Behind the Black during the holiday season. My finances however now compel me to do a short one-week fund-raiser, from November 11 to November 17.
 
I do not use Twitter for ethical reasons, which I have been told cuts down on traffic to the website. So be it. Furthermore, Facebook has clearly acted in the past two years to limit traffic to Behind the Black, almost certainly for political reasons. So be this as well. Finally, I do not post outside ads, as I have found them annoying to my readers and not that profitable to me.

 

Therefore, I need to ask for the direct support from my readers. If you like what I do here, please consider contributing, either by making a one-time donation or a monthly subscription, as indicated in the tip jar below.


 

Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:

Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:


If Paypal doesn't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
 
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

 

Or you could consider purchasing one of my books, as indicated in the boxes scattered throughout the website. My histories of space exploration are award-winning and are aimed for the general public. All are page-turners, and all not only tell the story of the beginning of the human exploration of space, they also help explain why we are where we are today. And I also have a science fiction book available, Pioneer, which tells its own exciting story while trying to predict what life in space will be like two hundred years in the future.

 

Note that for this week only I am also having a sale on the purchase of the last 20 hardbacks of Leaving Earth. (Click on the link for more information about the book, which was endorsed by Arthur C. Clarke himself!) This award-winning out-of-print book is now only available as an ebook, but I still have a handful of hardbacks available, normally for sale for $70 plus $5 shipping. For this week only you can buy them, personally autographed by me, for $50 plus $5 shipping! Just send me a check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to the address above, with a note saying that the money is for the Leaving Earth hardback.

 

Please consider donating. Your help will make it possible for me to continue to be an independent reporter in the field of space, science, technology, and culture.

Capitalism in space: ArianeGroup today successfully tested the solid rocket booster that it will use on both its Ariane 6 and Vega-C rockets in the 2020s.

The test success is good news for ArianeGroup, but this quote is actually more significant:

A compromise reached in May by European Space Agency members funding launch vehicle development will keep production of the P120C in Italy, allowing Avio to produce up to 35 boosters annually. A previous arrangement would have split production between Colleferro, Italy-based Avio and MT Aerospace of Augsburg, Germany.

The economies of scale provided by using the same booster for two rockets and concentrating production in one place are a key aspect of reducing the price for Ariane 6 missions by 40 to 50 percent compared to the Ariane 5 in use today.

Faced with stiff competition from SpaceX, the European Space Agency (ESA) gave ArianeGroup the power to structure operations more efficiently rather than cater to the pork desires of the agency’s many member nations.

Whether either Ariane 6 or Vega-C can compete with SpaceX’s reusuable rockets however remains doubtful. I expect that almost all of ArianeGroup’s customers in the next decade will be ESA member nations, required to buy its more expensive services.

Share

5 comments

  • wodun

    Pretty amazing that they hope to cut the price by 40-50%.

  • Col Beausabre

    Shows how much pork costs ….not that I should boast since I live in the Garden State…

    TRENTON, N.J. — At $2 million a mile, New Jersey spends eight times the national average on its state-controlled highways, a heavy toll that is driving the tax-supported roadway fund dry and forcing officials to rethink how roads are built.”

    I should hope so – not that I expect any results. The answer will be, “Tax the rich!” (which will mean anyone who has an income). NJ has reached The Thatcher Point. “Eventually you run out of other peoples’ money to give away”

    “triple the roughly $675,000 spent by the next-highest state, Massachusetts, and more than eight times the national average of $162,200”

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/10/12/why-it-costs-you-2-million-a-mile-to-build-a-nj-road/17125069/

  • I am so glad I moved out of the NY metropolitan area in 1998. So, so, so glad.

  • wayne

    Can somebody give me a net-cost per mile, for the “super-train” in California?

    Ref: Highway construction:
    It’s worse than Col Beausabre reports. (although I don’t know where the “$2 million/mile” figure comes from,)

    I’m in Michigan and we rank 13th for ‘cost-per-lane-mile’ at $42K –so a standard divided highway (2 lanes each way, 4 total) in Michigan would come in at $168K/mile, but that also doesn’t include land, engineering, or any over-passes or exits.
    [Arizona btw is ranked 12]

    Comprehensive charts (and a lengthy PDF Report) are at:

    >https://midwestepi.org/2017/05/03/what-are-road-construction-costs-per-lane-mile-in-your-state/

    –For highways, you have construction cost + right-of-way-acquisition cost + engineering cost + required over-passes & Exits.

  • wayne

    “We’ll Take the High Road”
    1957 American Road Builders Association
    https://youtu.be/wnrqUHF5bH8
    31:27

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *