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The battle between France and Germany on how to replace the Ariane 5 rocket continues.
To save money and lower cost, France wants to build a rocket that mostly uses solid rocket motors. Germany however has a problem with this.
German government officials have said they will have difficulty supporting the current Ariane 6 design, which features four identical solid-fueled stages — two as strap-on boosters, and two as the vehicle’s first and second stages — topped by the cryogenic upper stage powered by the same restartable Vinci engine that is the main element of the proposed Ariane 5 upgrade. Germany, through its space agency, the German Aerospace Center, DLR, has said it would prefer a liquid-fueled first stage for Ariane 6 as such a stage could be built in Germany and thus assure a large German industrial role in the program. Without such a role, DLR has said, German support for Ariane 6 might not be forthcoming.
The story above says that France is willing to negotiate with Germany over this, but if they do, they guarantee that Ariane 6 will be a costly rocket to build, making it very unattractive to satellite customers.