Airbus Hails ESA Summit Decisions

Ariane 6 variants (Credit: Airbus Defense and Space)
Ariane 6 variants (Credit: Airbus Defense and Space)

MUNICH, Germany (Airbus PR) — Airbus Defence and Space, number two worldwide in space technologies, hails a series of decisions taken at European Space Agency (ESA) Ministerial Council meeting in Luxembourg that underline the member states’ support for, and commitment to safeguarding Europe’s continued independent access to space and its part in the world’s space adventure.

“This summit will go down in history as a bold step forward for European Space. The decisions taken today represent a new boost for the launcher industry, the basis for all space activities, and for the overall European space sector and its thousands of employees whose expertise and passion keep the industry moving forward. I would like to pay tribute to the outstanding work that the member states and their space agencies have carried out under the coordination of the European Space Agency since the Naples meeting, in late 2012”, said François Auque, Head of Space Systems. “In particular, I would like to thank the ESA General Director, Jean-Jacques Dordain, the Ministers in charge of space, and the representatives of the space agencies for their trust.”

Airbus Defence and Space is delighted that Human Space Flight will continue, notably with the Orion capsule’s European service module, building on the success of the ATV programme, and that the International Space Station will continue to operate through this decade. The decisions taken in Luxembourg will also enable ongoing support for the future of telecommunications, most notably through Anysat, and will strengthen Copernicus, Europe’s Earth monitoring and observation programme.

“Airbus Defence and Space and its partners in the European space industry will now put all their efforts and know-how into taking up the challenge and delivering. The European adventure in space has only just begun,” added Mr Auque.

About Airbus Defence and Space

Airbus Defence and Space is a division of Airbus Group formed by combining the business activities of Cassidian, Astrium and Airbus Military. The new division is Europe’s number one defence and space enterprise, the second largest space business worldwide and among the top ten global defence enterprises. It employs some 40,000 employees generating revenues of approximately €14 billion per year.

  • Michael Vaicaitis

    “This summit will go down in history as a bold step forward for European Space.” said François Auque, Head of Space Systems.
    Or alternatively, from the point of view of someone who will not be getting rich as a direct result of this decision:
    “This summit will go down in history as an example of how to piss 5 billion dollars down the drain”.

    With that said, if they can get Ariane 6 flying before 2010 it might be a commercial success.

  • windbourne

    If they can get it flying before 2010, they will have developed time travel and it will be one of the biggest successes of all times. 🙂

    But, I agree with you about the later part.

  • Jeff Smith

    So it’s like a liquid core with solid strap ons? Pretty innovative if you ask me!

    I swear there are like 3 designs that everyone follows. Ariane 1-4 looks like a Delta II, Ariane 5 looks like the Shuttle stack without the orbiter (Hermes… not meant to be) and now they are gonna do Atlas 5/HII? Yeah, I know the problem doesn’t lend itself to lots of different solutions, but at least the Sovients had some distinctive looking rockets. Soyuz, Proton, N-1, all looked totally different from our plain Jane designs.

  • Matt

    Yes, you are right. Soviets/Russians display their own ingenuity, not only in general layout, but also in the details, whereas the French Ariane rocket designs (dictated to the Germans and others) are borrowing and conventional. It is my impression that at present an all liquid modular design presented by a German group (around OHB?) was rejected.

  • Michael Vaicaitis

    Oh, there was no typo my friend. I just think that is what it’s going to take to achieve the commercial success they are expecting. I don’t see hope of it in the 2020’s. This rocket architecture and pricing could hardly be called forward looking – it is clearly designed for a different era.