Author Topic: Ariane 5 Price Cut  (Read 2655 times)

Offline gongora

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Ariane 5 Price Cut
« on: 01/24/2019 04:33 am »
[Reuters] Europe's Arianespace takes on SpaceX by cutting Ariane 5 rocket launch price
Quote
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Europe’s Arianespace is discounting the price of satellite launches with its Ariane 5 rockets as it competes against U.S. rival SpaceX for customers before the release of the cheaper Ariane 6 rocket next year, a senior executive said on Wednesday.
...
He said in current marketing campaigns, the company is offering customers such as telecoms an Ariane 5 launch for the same price as the Ariane 6.
...
Arianespace is competing for two major launch contracts in the Asia-Pacific region that should be awarded this year and expects there could be tenders for another three, he said.

Offline tyrred

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Re: Ariane 5 Price Cut
« Reply #1 on: 01/24/2019 09:55 am »
Great news!  More competition.

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Re: Ariane 5 Price Cut
« Reply #2 on: 01/24/2019 09:59 am »
Do they 'stockpile' Ariane V cores and solid boosters? When the Ariane 6 enters service, will they have to 'run out' the old supplies of launchers?
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Offline woods170

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Re: Ariane 5 Price Cut
« Reply #3 on: 01/24/2019 11:49 am »
Do they 'stockpile' Ariane V cores and solid boosters? When the Ariane 6 enters service, will they have to 'run out' the old supplies of launchers?

No, Arianespace doesn't stockpile the A5. The order for the final batch of ten (10) A5's was made a year ago and the majority of those vehicles have already been assigned to payloads on the Arianespace backlog. The price cut applies to only two or three available A5's.

There is currently only a two year period of overlap between A6 coming online and A5 flying out its manifest.
« Last Edit: 01/24/2019 12:01 pm by woods170 »

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: Ariane 5 Price Cut
« Reply #4 on: 01/24/2019 10:27 pm »
The latest PC batch of Ariane 5 launchers has been reduced to 6.
Arianespace has 13 Ariane 5 launches left in it's schedule. This are the seven remaining of the PB+ batch (ordered in 2013) and six for the PC batch (ordered 2018). Indeed the GTO market is that bad. It's not competition it's low launch demand that's the problem.

All PC-batch launches go to GTO. In fact only JWTS and JUICE won't go to GTO, so 11 GTO dual launches. Or 22 GEO satellites are still scheduled to launch on Ariane 5. AFAIK Ariane 5 will launch until 2023 (MTG-S1).

AFAIK; SpX with Falcon 9 and their Starlink constellation speculation, as well as OneWeb have disrupted the space market. They caused uncertainty that has destroyed launch demand. Yay thanks for that!!!
TBD if they'll be successful. I'm sorry, but this makes me sad!
So ArianeGroup/Arianespace is going to spoil taxpayer money to get the available launch contracts.!?  :-[

Let's also add the Arianespace /ArianeGroup should do their job. AKA get Ariane 6 operational.
I'm sick of the whining they are doing for the lack of institutional launches contracted.
With EU 2021-2027 budget negotiations, Brexit and ESA Space2019+ (ministerial conference); the timing is just not right for launches to be contracted. I'm expecting a ton of launch contracts being announced after the ministerial. 
Up until than ArianeGroup should be satisfied with the five Ariane 6 launches already contracted.
« Last Edit: 01/24/2019 10:28 pm by Rik ISS-fan »

Online ncb1397

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Re: Ariane 5 Price Cut
« Reply #5 on: 01/24/2019 10:48 pm »
AFAIK; SpX with Falcon 9 and their Starlink constellation speculation, as well as OneWeb have disrupted the space market. They caused uncertainty that has destroyed launch demand. Yay thanks for that!!!
TBD if they'll be successful. I'm sorry, but this makes me sad!


Its arguable that HTS contributed to this as well. When you have satellites that don't necessarily weigh more that do the work that 10+ satellites did previously, you can expect one possible outcome being the need for heavy lift to fall. Hopefully this will allow for a collapse of prices that drive greater demand long term. Anyways, if one Ariane 5 can do what 10 did before, that is a good thing.

Offline woods170

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Re: Ariane 5 Price Cut
« Reply #6 on: 01/25/2019 06:24 am »
Let's also add the Arianespace /ArianeGroup should do their job. AKA get Ariane 6 operational.
I'm sick of the whining they are doing for the lack of institutional launches contracted.

Arianespace and ArianeGroup have a right to complain:

The deal struck between Arianespace/ArianeGroup and ESA was that the ESA member states would order a minimum of seven institutional launches. So far, the ESA member states haven't done that.
Simply put: the ESA member states are not holding up to their part of the deal.

So why should Arianespace/ArianeGroup hold up to its part of the deal?
« Last Edit: 01/25/2019 06:25 am by woods170 »

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Ariane 5 Price Cut
« Reply #7 on: 01/25/2019 09:03 am »
AFAIK; SpX with Falcon 9 and their Starlink constellation speculation, as well as OneWeb have disrupted the space market. They caused uncertainty that has destroyed launch demand. Yay thanks for that!!!
TBD if they'll be successful. I'm sorry, but this makes me sad!


Its arguable that HTS contributed to this as well. When you have satellites that don't necessarily weigh more that do the work that 10+ satellites did previously, you can expect one possible outcome being the need for heavy lift to fall. Hopefully this will allow for a collapse of prices that drive greater demand long term. Anyways, if one Ariane 5 can do what 10 did before, that is a good thing.
Satellite TV makes up bulk of GEO satellite business and that is losing customers to internet TV eg Netflicks.

Offline GWR64

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Re: Ariane 5 Price Cut
« Reply #8 on: 01/25/2019 11:34 am »
AFAIK; SpX with Falcon 9 and their Starlink constellation speculation, as well as OneWeb have disrupted the space market. They caused uncertainty that has destroyed launch demand. Yay thanks for that!!!
TBD if they'll be successful. I'm sorry, but this makes me sad!
So ArianeGroup/Arianespace is going to spoil taxpayer money to get the available launch contracts.!?  :-[
...

Arianespace sold 21 Soyuz launches to Oneweb! Of course these are not European rockets.
And that's the main problem, the inflexible Ariane 5 ECA. Designed to 95% for launches in GTO.
The double launches make it even more difficult.

Example the Sarah satellites for Germany.
The order for SpaceX has always been criticized.
But was there a meaningful European solution for the launches?

Or the stranded Kosmotras (Dnepr) customers. 2 from Europe
SpaceX was flexible and found solutions for all 3 costumers. And Arianespace ... ?

With Vega-C and Ariane 62/64 it gets better.
But the Ariane 62 is in reality too expensive. The price must be supported.
« Last Edit: 01/25/2019 12:07 pm by GWR64 »

Offline Lar

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Re: Ariane 5 Price Cut
« Reply #9 on: 01/25/2019 02:44 pm »
I applaud this price cut. Would be better if Arianespace was allowed to work on a fully reusable launcher but this is goodness. Anything that lowers the cost of access to space is goodness.

Given the nature of (indirect) subsidies here, SpaceX would be well advised not to get in a price war back. Not yet. No need and it's dangerous to price war with a subsidised competitor. IMHO.
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Offline daedalus1

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Re: Ariane 5 Price Cut
« Reply #10 on: 01/25/2019 02:50 pm »
I applaud this price cut. Would be better if Arianespace was allowed to work on a fully reusable launcher but this is goodness. Anything that lowers the cost of access to space is goodness.

Given the nature of (indirect) subsidies here, SpaceX would be well advised not to get in a price war back. Not yet. No need and it's dangerous to price war with a subsidised competitor. IMHO.

Well way back in the 90's if I recall correctly, China was banned from launching US commercial satellites because they sold a launch for below costs. I think the customer was Saudi Arabia.

Offline RedLineTrain

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Re: Ariane 5 Price Cut
« Reply #11 on: 01/25/2019 02:55 pm »
I applaud this price cut. Would be better if Arianespace was allowed to work on a fully reusable launcher but this is goodness. Anything that lowers the cost of access to space is goodness.

It is good, but will it be enough to grab launches from SpaceX?  I thought it was still doubtful whether Ariane 6 prices were competitive to F9/FH even now.
« Last Edit: 01/25/2019 03:30 pm by RedLineTrain »

Offline Cheapchips

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Re: Ariane 5 Price Cut
« Reply #12 on: 01/25/2019 03:36 pm »
I wonder how New Glenn factors into this price cut as well.  Are Blue bidding now or are they a little far out? 

Their dual launch policy is compelling next to Arianne's.

Quote
Blue Origin’s McFarland said Blue Origin won’t let schedule disruptions with one payload impact the co-passenger in dual-launch missions, even if it means splitting the missions in two.

“We are not going to [let this] hold back or delay a launch,” he said. “We are going for a cadence of up to eight times per year where we will launch. If we don’t have a second, we still go as a single. So that’s the plan, [with] the same price point for the launch service for the customer.”
https://spacenews.com/blue-origin-to-offer-dual-launch-with-new-glenn-after-fifth-mission/




Offline Lar

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Re: Ariane 5 Price Cut
« Reply #13 on: 01/25/2019 03:54 pm »

Well way back in the 90's if I recall correctly, China was banned from launching US commercial satellites because they sold a launch for below costs. I think the customer was Saudi Arabia.
We veer but that may just have been the nominal reason given...
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Offline GWR64

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Re: Ariane 5 Price Cut
« Reply #14 on: 01/25/2019 05:43 pm »
I suspect that the price reduction mainly affects the heavy satellites (upper passengers).
The price for the lighter satellites had Arianespace lowered some time ago.

Regardless of the current price reduction, an Ariane 5 launch with two light satellites in 2019 is possible.
That would (according to my calculation) a loss of income of 25% for this launch.
(Source Eutelsat: The lower position of the Ariane 5 is 40% cheaper than the upper one, until now.)
« Last Edit: 01/25/2019 05:55 pm by GWR64 »

Offline Lars-J

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Re: Ariane 5 Price Cut
« Reply #15 on: 01/25/2019 05:51 pm »
And that's the main problem, the inflexible Ariane 5 ECA. Designed to 95% for launches in GTO.
The double launches make it even more difficult.

I think you hit the nail on the head here with the essential problem for Ariane 5... (and perhaps Ariane 6?)

They really did go all in on the GTO market. And the bottom of it has fallen out. Something you can't really blame on SpaceX.

So if LEO constellations are the big market in the next decade or two (not a sure thing but what if) - How suitable and competitive is Ariane 6 for LEO work?
« Last Edit: 01/25/2019 05:52 pm by Lars-J »

Offline niwax

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Re: Ariane 5 Price Cut
« Reply #16 on: 01/25/2019 06:01 pm »
I wonder how New Glenn factors into this price cut as well.  Are Blue bidding now or are they a little far out? 

Their dual launch policy is compelling next to Arianne's.

Quote
Blue Origin’s McFarland said Blue Origin won’t let schedule disruptions with one payload impact the co-passenger in dual-launch missions, even if it means splitting the missions in two.

“We are not going to [let this] hold back or delay a launch,” he said. “We are going for a cadence of up to eight times per year where we will launch. If we don’t have a second, we still go as a single. So that’s the plan, [with] the same price point for the launch service for the customer.”
https://spacenews.com/blue-origin-to-offer-dual-launch-with-new-glenn-after-fifth-mission/

In this case I think it's a little of everything combined with bad management. SpaceX and BO are looking to be enough for everybodys GTO needs, plus F9 and Electron/small launchers for anything lower. But not only are the new services likely cheaper, more capable and with a higher probability to stay on time - they have been vastly underestimated by Arianespace leadership. They were the only ones who were consistently and openly not just critical or cautiously pessimistic about SpaceX, they openly mocked the concept of cheaper launches even before much-discussed reusability came into the equation. That also puts things like the ESA agreement into a different light. Any politician or other non-rocket type their management talked to was convinced Ariane is the only viable commercial provider for the foreseeable future. Of course no one creates a budget for a competitive rocket if no one admits there is competition.
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Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: Ariane 5 Price Cut
« Reply #17 on: 01/25/2019 07:01 pm »
Arianegroup should await patiently untill the end of this year. Arianegroup (and the other supliers) got 2,4 Billion (10^9) Euro from the ESA memberstates to develop Ariane6. So I think they should focus on finishing that task.
Before the first launch of Ariane 6 there are already two firm orders and two commitments from European institutions.
It's a bit of a chicken vs egg discussion. Arianegroup wants institutional launch commitments for Ariane6. And institutions want a proven launcher. Besides institutions can't commit because the budget for the 2020+ period is tbd (this year).
That's why I think the timing for launch contracts is wrong.

I wonder if Arianespace has launch slots available for 2019 and 2020. I expect they don't have them.
Thus these launch cost reductions could be the result of the introduction of Ariane 6. Ariane 6 is planned to starts launching commercially in 2021. As a result launch frequency goes up, thus fixed cost can be spread over more launches.

Please keep reusability out of this topic. Launch rate and demand is to low for that in Europe.
« Last Edit: 01/25/2019 07:05 pm by Rik ISS-fan »

Offline gongora

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Re: Ariane 5 Price Cut
« Reply #18 on: 01/25/2019 07:12 pm »
The latest PC batch of Ariane 5 launchers has been reduced to 6.

Do you have a source for this?

Online ncb1397

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Re: Ariane 5 Price Cut
« Reply #19 on: 01/25/2019 08:22 pm »
And that's the main problem, the inflexible Ariane 5 ECA. Designed to 95% for launches in GTO.
The double launches make it even more difficult.

I think you hit the nail on the head here with the essential problem for Ariane 5... (and perhaps Ariane 6?)

They really did go all in on the GTO market. And the bottom of it has fallen out. Something you can't really blame on SpaceX.

So if LEO constellations are the big market in the next decade or two (not a sure thing but what if) - How suitable and competitive is Ariane 6 for LEO work?

If they meet their goal of 90 million euros per launch for A64, which is 102 million dollars, they should do just fine. Wikipedia lists 14,900 kg to SSO, which would be about 100 147 kg One Web satellites fairing space permitting (and not counting the payload carrier). On the other hand, SpaceX lists $62 million for a first stage recoverable Falcon 9 launch with a LEO capacity of ~16,000 kg. SSO would be well south of that. Assuming it is something like 10,000 kg, you are looking at two thirds of the capacity in terms of mass for approximately two thirds of the cost. The fairing size ratio also comes out similarly. See attachment.

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