Arianespace Sees Opportunity in Proton Failure, Falcon 9 Delays

Ariane 5 lifts off from Kourou.Space News reports that Arianespace is trying to lure customers to use the Ariane 5 rocket in the wake of last week’s failure of a Proton rocket and schedule delays suffered by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket:

Europe’s Arianespace launch consortium is ready to add one or two Ariane 5 launches to its 2014 manifest if commercial customers make themselves known quickly enough, the Evry, France-based company said July 2…

Russia’s Proton, marketed commercially by International Launch Services (ILS) of Reston, Va., is the biggest competitor to Ariane 5 for launching satellites in the 6,000-kilogram weight class….

Most Ariane 5 flights need a lighter satellite to fill the rocket’s bottom slot, and for this class of satellite Arianespace is eyeing delays in the debut of the upgraded Falcon 9 rocket for possible 2014 customers.

Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) of Hawthorne, Calif., is expected to debut the new Falcon 9 this summer before moving to commercial launches of telecommunications satellites operating in geostationary orbit.

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