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EU plays catch-up on launchers

16th June 2021 - 15:57 GMT | by Samuel Beal

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The European expendable launch system Ariane 6 is under development. (Photo: ArianeGroup)

Europe ceded the initiative on reusable launcher technology in 2014 and only now is it trying to claw back the lost ground.

While the US, China and India drive on with their military and commercial space programmes, EU member states continue to pursue a fragmented set of policies set at a national level.

Now, Brussels has announced plans to consolidate this cumbersome and disjointed industry lest it falls too far behind the global competition. 

Decades of siloed planning on space has stymied Europe’s technological potential. Speaking at the European Space Conference in January 2021, Thierry Breton, the EU Internal Market Commissioner, warned ‘that considering the global market and the offensive positioning of our competitors, it is not the time for complacency’. …

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