For years, the European Ariana Raket was considered one of the cheapest ways to send a satellite into space as a commercial company. Meanwhile, Tesla boss Elon Musk‘s spaceX space company SpaceX is doing so for less. According to Pierre Godart, head of Ariane Deutschland, the reason is the huge government contracts that SpaceX receives in the United States, he says to WirtschaftsWoche.
SpaceX charges the government over $100 million per launch with its Falcon 9 missile. That same missile flies for commercial parties for less than 50 million dollars, Godart knows. “Musk covers all its costs and investments through the institutional market. As a result, he can use commercial very aggressive prices.”
Approximately 75 percent of SpaceX’s revenues come from launches for state institutions, such as NASA space agency. Ariane has to do so at 30% and is dependent on the commercial market for the rest of his revenues. “Competition is becoming more and more intense.”
Godart also has praise about the technology of SpaceX, which allows its missiles to land and reuse. The new Ariane-6 rocket, to be launched for the first time next year, must be “the most reliable rocket in the world”. That strength of the European space consortium must be better promoted as far as Godart is concerned.