Airbus Defense and Space (the aerospace conglomerate formerly known as Astrium) is considering incorporating partial reusability into future Ariane rockets.

The move is believed to be a reaction to competition from SpaceX.

Airbus would not recover the entire first stage, like SpaceX, but only the lower portion with engines, pumps, and electronics. Tanks would still be expended. Airbus says the recovered portion represents 80% of the cost of the stage. Building new tanks for each mission will limit the flight rate, however.

Written by Astro1 on October 16th, 2014 , Commercial Space (General)

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    kamalahasan commented


    October 16, 2014 at 11:44 am
    Robert Clark commented

    Thanks for that. I noticed the wings are reminiscent of the wings on SpaceShipOne. This would make sense since the first stage only has to be suborbital.

    Bob Clark

    October 18, 2014 at 9:50 pm