High Targets

Ariane with Extra Thrust

ariane-ap
Trying to keep ahead of the pack.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Europeans have agreed to fund an improved version of the Ariane space rocket but face competition from both Russia and the American billionaire, Elon Musk.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Representatives of 20 European countries and Canada agreed in Luxembourg to spend €8 billion on space exploration.
    • The funding will include €4 billion ($4.95 billion) to replace the aging Ariane 5 rocket with the Ariane 6 by 2021.
    • After an initial crash in June 1996, all 62 Ariane lift-offs in the last 12 years have been successful.
  • Audio

    Audio

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Europe’s recent landing of a small probe onto a tiny comet racing ahead on the edge of the solar system – could not have been better timed. The successful project encouraged cash-strapped European governments to spend money on new space adventures.

On Tuesday, representatives of 20 European countries and Canada agreed in Luxembourg to spend €8 billion ($9.9 billion) on space exploration, the group’s largest investment in years.

The funds will go to new research satellites and continued participation in both the International Space Ship, ISS, and the “Orion” spaceship, with which the Americans and Europeans intend to fly to the moon and then Mars at the end of the decade.

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