Europe’s launch sector faces the music in 2019, and it’s not a happy tune

by Peter B. de Selding

CARBONDALE, Colorado — Europe’s independent access to space, whose viability relies on winning a large share of a healthy, competitive global commercial launch market, has never been as severely challenged as it will be in 2019.

On the demand side, the market for launching large satellites into geostationary-transfer orbit is in a three-year slump. It typically takes two years or more from the time a large GEO-orbit satellite is ordered to when it is launched, meaning 2019 will be the year in which the effects of the market’s decline . . .

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