European Union/space policy/signature of contracts for developing Ariane 6
During the ministerial meeting of the European Space Agency in Luxembourg on 2 December 2014, the decision was taken to develop a new launcher, more competitive than Ariane 5 and modular, in order to maintain Europe’s rank in international competition in the space access market. This decision is part of a more general overhaul of the European launcher industry, demonstrated in particular by the creation of the joint company Airbus Safran Launchers by the two main manufacturers responsible for Ariane’s development and production, and by the capital development of Arianespace, which is in charge of merchandizing it.
The contracts signed today will fund Airbus Safran Launchers and ELV’s work on the Ariane 6 and Vega C launchers and that of the CNES [French Space Agency] on the launch pad, to the tune of €2.4 billion, €395 million and €600 million respectively. The manufacturers will provide €400 million of their own funding.
This new stage demonstrates Europe’s determination to have a launcher that is both competitive and reliable, within the ambitious timeframe decided in Luxembourg. Najat Vallaud-Belkacem and Thierry Mandon welcome the substantial involvement of all the institutional and industrial teams who made this critical step possible in order for things to proceed to plan. The target for Ariane 6’s inaugural flight is 2020./.