France’s CNES on European astronauts after ISS, and the ‘complicated, difficult’ subject of European mini-launchers

by Peter B. de Selding

PARIS —The French space agency, CNES, remains skeptical of whether a small launch vehicle can be successfully developed by a startup company given the cost and market-access challenges, but sees its value as a technology demonstrator and possibly for future military uses, CNES President Philippe Baptiste said.

Baptiste’s comments to the French National Assembly, or parliament, on May 17 showed the continued ambivalence of France on whether small launch vehicles are worth all the friction they’re causing in Europe, among the members of the 22-nation . . .

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