Squaring the circle: Europe wants launcher autonomy and low launch prices

by Peter B. de Selding

LE BOURGET, France — European governments on June 22 conducted a rare genuine public debate over whether Europe views autonomous access to space as a strategic priority and, if so, how far it will go to support it.

As became clear, Europe is still not ready to accept all the consequences of labeling space launch as “strategic,” which usually means that financial considerations take a back seat. Many do not want to give Europe’s launcher sector, led by Ariane Group, a blank check.

It is not often that conflicting . . .

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