On 26 November 1965, the Diamant launcher sent the 39 kg Astérix satellite into orbit from its launch base in Hammaguir. This major success turned France into a space power, well after the Russians and the Americans, and marked the beginning of European access to space.
Since then, Europe has achieved truly independent access to space with the Ariane launchers 1 to 5, reinforced by the recent decision to go ahead with development of Ariane 6.
To mark this 50th anniversary, the Air and Space Academy is organising a conference on the topic of European space launchers.
This event will examine the emerging competition in the USA, Russia, Japan and China, as well as looking at exciting developments in Europe such as the concept of a flexible family of launchers with Ariane 6 and Vega C, the creation of Airbus Safran Launchers as general contractor and the evolving role of Arianespace.
The conference will call on top-level speakers to provide a clear, comprehensive panorama of current European launcher services. It will be structured around four sessions:
- The historical background
- The global environment and the market for launch services
- Europe's technical and organisational response to competition
- Future prospects for technical evolution.
After each session participants will be able to exchange views with speakers.
This conference should meet the expectations of all those who consider European independent access to space to be a strategic priority.