French auditor says Ariane 6 rocket too conventional to compete with SpaceX

Artist's view of the configuration of Ariane 6 using two boosters (A62) on the ELA-4 launch pad together with its mobile launch gantry.

Enlarge / Artist’s view of
the configuration of Ariane 6 using two boosters (A62) on the ELA-4
launch pad together with its mobile launch gantry. (credit: ESA –
D. Ducros)

France’s independent state auditor, the Cour des comptes, has
raised concerns about the viability of Europe’s new rocket, the
Ariane 6 launcher. In its
2019 annual report
, the auditor said the France-based launch
company Arianespace is also being too cautious as it grapples with
competitors like the US-based SpaceX.

“In 2017, Arianespace lost global leadership in the commercial
market to the American company SpaceX,” the report finds. “This
competitor’s business model is based on the breakthrough model of
reusable rockets.”

The report discusses the potential for further losses of market
share and revenues against the rise of competition from SpaceX and
a global dip in demand for the launch of commercial satellites to
geostationary orbit. It also criticizes the choices European
leaders made in 2014, when they selected the design for its
next-generation rocket, the Ariane 6. This booster may fly for the
first time in 2020 from the European spaceport in Kourou, French
Guiana.

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Source: FS – All – Science – News
French auditor says Ariane 6 rocket too conventional to compete with SpaceX