Ariane V200 SpaceX claims Europes Ariane 5 rocket has no chance

The CEO of commercial space agency SpaceX, Elon Musk, has mocked Europe's once-prized Ariane 5 rockets as having “no chance” against his company's new Falcon 9.

The CEO of commercial space agency SpaceX, Elon Musk, has mocked Europe's once-prized Ariane 5 rockets as having “no chance” against his company's new Falcon 9.

 
“Ariane 5 has no chance,” he told the BBC. “I don't say that with a sense of bravado but there's really no way for that vehicle to compete with Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy. If I were in the position of Ariane, I would really push for an Ariane 6.”
 
The Ariane 5 currently holds one of the top spots in a small but growing market for launching satellites and other vessels into space, but SpaceX's cheaper Falcon model is enticing many to switch contracts.
 
The European Space Agency (ESA) is meeting this week to discuss the fate of the Ariane programme, with Germany calling for an upgrade of the existing model and France calling for development of the next-generation Ariane 6. The agency faces tough challenges, however, with member states required to subsidise the cost of the rockets at a price of €217 million for 2011 and 2012.
 
Ariane V200 SpaceX claims Europes Ariane 5 rocket has no chance
 
Musk boasts that Ariane rockets “sure as hell can't compete with the next [Falcon 9],” which he said will actually come at a cheaper price than the current already comparatively affordable model, which costs less than $60 million per flight.
 
It is no wonder then that SpaceX already has 40 contracts under its wing, despite the Falcon having only made four flights to date. Ariane's longer history and reliability may help it in the interim, but as SpaceX makes more successful launches it will become an even more attractive option.
 
It looks like the future for space exploration will be outsourced to private companies. Given budget cutbacks in the US and Europe, this is probably a good thing for those hoping to keep interest in the final frontier.
 
Source: BBC
Image Credit: ESA