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Germany’s space chief yesterday said he expected big battles in Europe over future funding for ISS and Ariane.
Ariane is a serious problem, as it is expensive and a money-loser, despite dominating the commercial market in recent years. And worse, it will be difficult to make Ariane competitive in the future:
ESA in 2010 hired an outside auditor to review the current Ariane 5 system to look for ways to save money. Its principal conclusion was that very few savings were possible without scrapping the forced geographic distribution of industrial contracts that preserves the political and financial support needed for the Ariane system.