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The competition heats up: ESA is revamping how it builds rockets in order to compete with SpaceX.
ESA officials have been spooked by Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) of Hawthorne, Calif., which has demonstrated its technical prowess with the launch of its Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon cargo vehicle to the international space station. SpaceX officials say one of the keys to its success is that Falcon 9 is built in one factory owned by SpaceX.
Read the whole thing. The way ESA builds the Ariane rocket requires too many participants (what we in the U.S. call pork), raising its cost. ESA is now abandoning that approach to cut costs and thus compete with SpaceX.