Join Date: 08.03.2005
Europe's Cosmic Agreement: European Space Agency Takes a Step into the Future
The European Space Agency has a new budget and member states have also set aside a bitter debate over the future of the Ariane rocket, the program's commercial workhorse. All sides are happy -- and Russia may even benefit from the deal.
Join Date: 24.11.2012
About your article on the ESA's decision on the Ariane 5.
I’m sure EADS Astrium is happy because of the amount of money they will make on the plan. But this does not mean it is the best plan for the european space program.
What this decision does is guarantee that soon Elon Musk will be right:
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk: Europe’s rocket ‘has no chance’.
By Jonathan Amos
Science correspondent, BBC News
19 November 2012 Last updated at 10:47
But the ESA could have a cost competitive rocket by developing the Ariane 6 with multiple Vulcain engines. This would only be a few hundred million dollar development rather than the multi-billion dollar development needed to develop a single large engine on the core stage.
I’ve been informed by several different people within ESA or Arianespace that studies on the multi-engine approach have been done but they have not been released to the public. The ESA claims using multiple engines on a stage is not cost effective. If they really believe that why are these studies not released publicly?
The real situation is analogous to that of NASA with regard to the studies showing just using propellant depots and currently existing launchers could accomplish the goals of the SLS while saving billions. In that case the studies were suppressed because NASA, or the politicians holding the purse strings, was committed to a solution that would provide the most money to the entrenched US space providers. Its the same type of scenario here.
The real shame of it is that the multi-engine approach would also provide Europe with an independent manned spaceflight capability. But the European public will never know of it because those studies showing it is doable will be kept secret.