User avatar
Tugger
Topic Author
Posts: 8209
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 8:38 am

The future of Arianespace and the Arianegroup leadership

Sun May 27, 2018 6:21 pm

This deserves a separate thread, but it is of course tied to the successes SpaceX is currently experiencing. That could change drastically if anything affects the launch success and reliability of SpaceX but then other competitors like Orbital ATK, Blue Origin, Rocket Lab (currently having success with its small Electron rocket), and even ULA and Stratolaunch are looming in the near future.

Alain Charmeau recently had what I would describe as a fairly disastrous interview Der Spiegel where he basically declared Arianespace's work as a jobs program (since he was speaking with Der Spiegel he pointedly and politically stated "It creates jobs in Germany"). Basically he came across as whining and whinging and couldn't admit to anything SpaceX (or others) might be doing better or how Arianespace was going to meet these new entrants and really compete.

I get that nations want to and need to and should maintain their technological edge, in science as well as manufacturing. It is a sound and solid reason to "spend more" for something. But Msr. Charmeau does not address this at all nor does he seem to want Arianespace rockets to be used because they are the best. He just complains about the unfairness of it all. He does not appear to have a vision nor a grasp on what is actually happening now.

Russia has already stepped back and declared that their space program will be for military and defense purposes and have ceded commercial launch to other more competitive systems. They will no longer subsidize commercial industry. ULA has a real uphill climb to make and I have strong doubts they will be able to succeed based of what they are built from and for but we will have to wait and see. Currently the US government is willing to spend billions to support them (the various legislators around the USA with space related jobs in their districts will be loathe to give those up), if that dries up I don't see ULA or its parent companies continuing.

So what is the future of Arianespace? Will a new space launch company evolve in Europe? And what do you think Msr. Charmeau will do after this interview?

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
VSMUT
Posts: 1912
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:40 am

Re: The future of Arianespace and the Arianegroup leadership

Sun May 27, 2018 8:53 pm

There will still be a need for a European space launch solution. The US lying prior to the invasion of Iraq in 2003 will see to that. There have been some concepts revealed for more reusable rockets (and a project for a landing rocket in miniature scale is also underway), but at best I think they will be playing catch-up for some time to come.
 
User avatar
SamYeager2016
Posts: 177
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 6:22 pm

Re: The future of Arianespace and the Arianegroup leadership

Mon May 28, 2018 12:07 pm

I fully expect Arianespace to be around for at least the next ten years because Europe will continue to want a European space launch solution and even more to the point will want to have independent access to the expertise required. Musk has already shown what can practically be achieved in terms of reusability and efficiency and given an idea of what further saving might be possible.

That said, I fully expect Arianespace to wish to do things in a different manner, possibly because of perceived safety issues, which will almost certainly result in slower progress and fewer savings. This may in the longer term result in Arianespace's scope diminishing if SpaceX and the like remain significantly cheaper.

Senior leadership, at least at the very top, is rather more uncertain. I'm sure that interview won't have gone down too well. However France tends to be, to put it mildly, rather resistant to losing French influence so unless Charmeau has got on the wrong side of Macron he probably won't vanish immediately unless there's a suitable French replacement.
 
Planeflyer
Posts: 1055
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 3:49 am

Re: The future of Arianespace and the Arianegroup leadership

Mon May 28, 2018 2:18 pm

Can someone describe the ownership and finances of Arianespace? How much are they costing European governments in subsidies? What is their current market share in the commercial launch space?
 
User avatar
Tugger
Topic Author
Posts: 8209
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 8:38 am

Re: The future of Arianespace and the Arianegroup leadership

Tue May 29, 2018 4:03 pm

Do European commercial start ups have any road blocks to using the EU launch facilities in French Guyana?

Also what would happen if SpaceX opened a European division, based in the EU, owned by EU entities? (Kind of like what Airbus has in Alabama).

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
DarkKnight5
Posts: 65
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2016 3:36 pm

Re: The future of Arianespace and the Arianegroup leadership

Tue May 29, 2018 5:39 pm

French Guiana prompts some interesting questions for me. If the goal of Ariane is to maintain European access to space, ostensibly in the case of a global conflict which would eliminate all other launch partners as viable options, then launching from South America is not optimal. Sure there’s a Delta-V benefit being on the equator, but having to cross the ocean to launch is a major problem.

If, as Tugger suggests, there is to be private investment in a European-Based launch system, it will have to be based on a rocket with the ability to boost back and land at the launch site, or on a platform in the Mediterranean Sea. They would have to launch from Northeastern Spain or the southern coast of France. They won’t want first stages falling ballistically into the Sea.

Since Ariane has zero interest in landing rockets, apparently, they’re stuck in Guiana. So in the event of conflict, good luck getting materials from Europe to South America.

It makes me think the “independent access to space” bluster is just that, and that Ariane is just a jobs program and not a real player in the Launch industry. At least, that is, until they get some new blood in there who are willing to innovate.
 
parapente
Posts: 2654
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2006 10:42 pm

Re: The future of Arianespace and the Arianegroup leadership

Wed May 30, 2018 9:58 am

It seems Ariana (and others) are caught in a 'catch22'.
Reusing (landing) rockets is only economical if you are launching and reusing them a lot.
If you only have a few launches a year the disposable route is actually more cost effective.It also keeps your manufacturing plant in operation.
The commercial market has gone - for ever imho so they are now limited to Governmental backed launches -ie not a lot.
So if they are to continue they will have to follow the other nations like Russia and China and come clean that this is a non commercial operation which is vital for national ( in thus case European) security.The taxpayer must (and will) pay.
The only thing left -and the governments appear to be doing this - is to make that bill as small as possible for their taxpayers.
 
Noshow
Posts: 539
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 3:20 pm

Re: The future of Arianespace and the Arianegroup leadership

Wed May 30, 2018 11:56 am

I think for all big players, including Arianespace, times get harder with more commercial players coming into the market. This puts pressure on prices and takes away the strategic monopoly big launching groups had. Now everybody can select his launching vehicle and some can even be reused to become cheaper. At the same time payloads become smaller so there is even more choice how to launch them, including dropping them from planes.

Europe will still want to launch big stuff in the future so I see some need for some future Arianespace. But maybe they need to change their structures become more competitive with pricing, leaner and such. Same goes for NASA and the Russians. Certainly interesting times. Maybe Arianespace should move closer to the Japanese and join forces? They have had some pretty smart space programs for some time.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 15 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos