France’s CNES: There’s a mini-launcher competition in Europe. We intend to win it

by Peter B. de Selding

PARIS — The French government will subsidize development of ArianeGroup’s Maia reusable mini-launcher, and other French mini-launchers as well, to meet a competitive threat from other European small launchers, the president of the French space agency, CNES, said.

The decision was made after France concluded that mini-launchers are not just proving grounds for technologies intended for larger vehicles, but commercially valuable assets in the emerging satellite market.

“Most satellites will be launched with large rockets,” CNES President Philippe Baptiste said in Feb . . .

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