Europe to Decide Within Weeks on When to Restart Space Launches

European space officials said on Monday they face crucial timing decisions in the coming weeks on the return to flight of Europe’s flagship space launchers following a series of delays.
The inaugural launch of Europe’s new Ariane 6 launcher has been delayed until next year, while the failure of a test on the smaller Vega C has hampered chances of a return to service in 2023 for that rocket after it was grounded in December 2022.
Europe’s third traditional path to space, the Russian Soyuz programme, was interrupted last year amid the breakdown in East-West relations following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Those development have left Europe scrambling to close the gap in launch capability as competition heats up in the market for commercial launches, with the larger and modernised Ariane 6 designed to be more competitive against rivals led by Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

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