Echostar signs a multi-satellite deal using the Ariane 5 rocket.

For many reasons, mostly political but partly ethical, I do not use Google, Facebook, Twitter. They practice corrupt business policies, while targeting conservative websites for censoring, facts repeatedly confirmed by news stories and by my sense that Facebook has taken action to prevent my readers from recommending Behind the Black to their friends.
Thus, I must have your direct support to keep this webpage alive. Not only does the money pay the bills, it gives me the freedom to speak honestly about science and culture, instead of being forced to write it as others demand.


Please consider donating by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined 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


You can also support me by buying one of my books, as noted in the boxes interspersed throughout the webpage. And if you buy the books through the ebookit links, I get a larger cut and I get it sooner.

The competition heats up: Echostar signs a multi-satellite deal using the Ariane 5 rocket.

Several points:

  • This is good news for Arianespace, as it gives them a long-term and very reliable customer at just the moment many people, including myself, thought they’d have difficulty selling Ariane 5 to anyone in the coming years. With this deal in hand, they might be able to keep the rocket afloat long enough to find a way to lower its costs and make it more competitive.
  • This is bad news for ILS and the Russian Proton rocket. They have lost a loyal customer. And the reason is probably related to their two recent launch failures as well as other quality control failures. Echostar likely looked at these problems and compared them with Ariane 5’s near perfect launch record, with 52 successful launches in a row.
  • Overally, however, this is great news for the increasingly competitive launch market. Not only does it keep Arianespace alive, it puts increased pressure on the Russians to find a way to lower their costs, improve their reliability, and thus compete with both the Ariane 5 and SpaceX’s Falcon 9. See for example this story about how the Russians plan on reorganizing their industry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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