As Europe invests billions of dollars in a new generation of vehicles for launching medium and large satellites, a more modest effort is underway to develop affordable solutions for orbiting smaller spacecraft. Beginning this year, the European Commission (EC) will finance a French-led project to demonstrate the feasibility of developing a low-cost, reusable smallsat launch system. Known as Altair (Air Launch space Transportation using an Automated aircraft and an Innovative Rocket), the ...

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