Europe’s space sector long viewed Ariane 6 rocket as a dead weight. Amazon order forces a 180-degree turn

by Peter B. de Selding

PARIS — It’s difficult to overstate the effect of Amazon’s order of 18 heavy-lift Ariane 6 rockets on Europe’s space industrial base.

For years, Ariane 6 has been viewed as a mistake. Even the French government, which is financing 50% of its development, has characterized Ariane 6 as a problem that cannot be solved, but must be minimized over time — and not repeated.

Too late to scrap or redo, more than two years late and over budget, not reusable, not New Space and overall . . .

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