EADS Pulls Plug On New Bigger Version Of Ariane Rockets
European aerospace giant EADS has shelved plans for a new bigger 12-tonne version of its Ariane rocket owing to lack of demand, one of the group's directors said in a newspaper interview published Tuesday.
"We don't need a 12-tonne version. There's no market for it," the head of EADS Space Transportation, Josef Kind, told the Financial Times Deutschland.
"We should put the project on ice," he said.
The biggest Ariane rocket, the Ariane 5 ECA, is currently capable of carrying 10 tonnes, the equivalent of two big satellites, into space.
But forecasts of a fast-growing number of big satellites being launched have proven mistaken, FT Deutschland said.
Instead, the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company is talking about the development of unmanned space gliders that could be operational between 2015 and 2020.
Kind said he expected a corresponding decision to be made by the European Space Agency in December.
The project would cost an estimated 200-250 million euros (252-315 million dollars) per year and would guarantee around 1,500 jobs, Kind said.
"I see support in Germany" for such a project, he said.
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Russia, Arianespace To Sign Deal On Space Rocket Launch
Moscow (AFP) Mar 29, 2005
The Russian Space Agency and European rocket launch company Arianespace are to sign a deal on April 11 to build a launch complex for Russian rockets at the Kourou site in French Guiana, Russian agency head Anatoly Perminov told Interfax late Tuesday.
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