PARIS — The French government, which has spent years wishing all the talk about small launchers in Europe would just go away, is now laying out a welcome mat in hopes of luring small-rocket startups to Europe’s 60-year-old Guiana Space Center (CSG) spaceport.

The change in approach is not the result of a sudden belief in the viability of very small rockets as a business: It’s still hard to find anyone at the French space agency, CNES, who thinks that dedicated cubesat launch service providers . . .

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