Italy’s legislature rejects additional funding for space

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The Italian legislature has refused to add an additional $250 million to the budget of its space program, money requested to help pay the country’s share in the development of Arianespace’s next generation commercial rocket, Ariane 6.

The money was also needed for several other ESA space projects. Not having it puts a question mark on Italy’s future in space. The article also illustrates how the committee nature of Europe’s cooperative space effort makes it almost impossible for it to compete in the commercial market.



  • Competential

    It is sound to not waste money on trying to develop yet another rocket which will be too expensive to compete. ESA should use the cheapest launch providers in the world. Or do they run their own bauxit mines and aluminium plants and coal power plants in order to supply themselves inhouse with their aluminium?

    Let’s see now, how many Ariane 5 class launchers are there in the world today? Atlas V, Delta IV, Proton, Falcon 9, Mitsubishi H-II. Plus upcoming Angara 5 and Long March 5 and Falcon Heavy. Space flight is so expensive because the wheel is being reinvented all over again. And the new rockets are often not at all cheaper than the already existing ones. Launcher development is mostly nothing but fraud against tax payers.

  • Competential

    Arianespace should aim at becoming a supplier to SpaceX with those components and competences they have which actually are competitive. As a whole they have no chance.

  • Matt in AZ

    SpaceX’s does most of it’s own manufacturing, so being a major supplier to them is not in the cards.

  • wodun

    Well, they could focus their limited funds on building payloads for Falcon 9’s.

  • Edward

    SpaceX is not yet able to launch at a rate to completely replace the other launchers. There is too much demand for launch capability. But the other companies are going to be forced to become less expensive, otherwise SpaceX and other, new, low-price providers will “eat their launch” (oh, I have wanted to say that for *so* long).

    Launch providers and space agencies will have to stop being run by argumentative committees, and efficiency (not pork) will soon rule space. There will still be governmental pork projects, just like the rest of life, but the efficiencies of free-market capitalism will do better at creating jobs than the pork, just like the rest of life.

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