In the debate over whether to start work on Europe’s successor to the Ariane 5 launch vehicle, France and Germany have at least agreed on the estimated price tag — €3.8-€5 billion ($5-$6.5 billion) over a decade. Detailed in a report recently delivered to the French and German governments, the cost estimate serves as a point of departure from which the polarized partners will move forward this fall, when European Space Agency (ESA) ministers meet in Caserta, Italy, to settle the ...

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