Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Space Travel News .

An Early 2014 Surprise - Arianespace Needs More Money
by Staff Writers
Bethesda, MD (SPX) Feb 18, 2014

Arianespace claims it is taking steps to remain competitive with SpaceX. However, over the past few months Falcon 9 has begun servicing communications satellite operators, having launched its first two commercial GEO missions.

Launchspace experts have been watching the launch vehicle industry for that past several decades. Of all the interesting aspects of this business, the one that stands out the most is the fact that it is exceedingly difficult to make a profit in an industry that spends so much money.

Secondly, it is amazing that so many think they can make money providing launch services to so few customers. A quick look around the world reveals there are dozens of launch vehicle families vying for the few sales that occur.

There is an old saw that says: "If you want to become a millionaire in the launch industry, you need to first be a billionaire." The road to success is, in fact, littered with bankrupt companies and ex-billionaires.

Low and behold, Arianespace now finds itself faced with another financial dilemma. Not only is the European launch company feeling the pressure of competition from the new U.S. startup, SpaceX, but the Euro/dollar exchange rate is also forcing a request for more subsidies to shore up support for Ariane 5 operations at its Guiana Space Center in Kourou.

In recent years, since the EELV program was established for assured launch capability for the U.S. Air Force, Arianespace has been fat with launches and customers. Atlas and Delta have become dedicated to serve U.S. government launches and there have been no U.S. launch vehicles that could compete with Ariane 5.

Then, along came SpaceX's Falcon 9, a commercial, low-cost launch system that could serve Ariane's customers at a much lower cost. Competition must have been a shock to Arianespace, after several years of acting as a monopoly. Then the Euro got stronger and the Falcon 9 looked even better.

Arianespace claims it is taking steps to remain competitive with SpaceX. However, over the past few months Falcon 9 has begun servicing communications satellite operators, having launched its first two commercial GEO missions.

It is important to note that SpaceX is not subsidized, while Arianespace continues to enjoy well over $100 million in annual gifts from the 20-nation European Space Agency. The reality of the situation is that Arianespace's subsidies make it non-competitive.

Competition is good. It leads to better products and services at lower prices. It is hard to feel sorry for Arianespace, whose subsidies have been cut in recent years, while it complains about having to face real competition.


Related Links
Launch Pad at

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Lighter engines a headache for satellite launcher Ariane
Paris (AFP) Feb 18, 2014
Arianespace rockets excel at lifting the heaviest payloads into space, but a new technology allowing for lighter satellites is causing another big bang for an already fast-changing industry. The number one commercial launch operator, Arianespace is under intense pressure from a new slate of lower-priced rivals, including US start-up Space X. But now lighter-load electric propulsion used ... read more

Airbus Defence and Space wins new ESA contract for Ariane 6

An Early 2014 Surprise - Arianespace Needs More Money

Another Vega launcher for Arianespace takes shape at the Spaceport

Turkey launches satellite to increase Internet speed

NASA solves mystery of Mars 'doughnut' rock

The World Above and Beyond

'Pinnacle Island' Rock Studies Continue

Calculated Risks: How Radiation Rules Mars Exploration

Chang'e-2 lunar probe travels 70 mln km

LADEE Sends Its First Images of the Moon Back to Earth

Source of 'Moon Curse' Revealed by Eclipse

NASA bets on private companies to exploit moon's resources

Thanks America, New Horizons Ahead

Countdown to Pluto

A Busy Year Begins for New Horizons

Kepler Finds a Very Wobbly Planet

One planet, two stars: new research shows how circumbinary planets form

First Weather Map of Brown Dwarf

NASA-Sponsored 'Disk Detective' Lets Public Search for New Planetary Nurseries

Orion Stage Adapter Aces Structural Loads Testing

Teledyne unit wins $60 million contract to build NASA launch adapter

NASA Selects Space Launch System Adapter Hardware Manufacturer

Boeing to Mentor AMRO Through NASA Mentor-Protege Program

What's up, Yutu

China's Jade Rabbit rover comes 'back to life'

Yutu Awakes

Moon plays trick on Jade Rabbit

Responding to Potential Asteroid Redirect Mission Targets

Software helps astronomers find faint, tiny comet in deep solar system

A good year to find a comet

Russian scientists break ground in new asteriod discovery

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.