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Report: Arianespace may need government support to survive
Posted: Wed, May 15, 2002, 8:55 AM ET (1255 GMT)
Ariane 44L file photo (Arianespace) European launch services provider Arianespace may need government support to ride out a downturn in the commercial launch market and avoid bankruptcy, Space News reported in its print edition this week. According to the article, which is not published online, the company will announce later this month that it suffered a loss of 100 million euros (US$90.3 million) in 2001, double the estimate the company reported earlier this year, but still smaller than the 242 million euro loss in 2000. One unnamed European government official quoted by Space News said that if Arianespace was a US company, "it would be in bankruptcy or near to it." Unlike American companies Lockheed Martin and Boeing, Arianespace must rely almost entirely on commercial launches, with very few civil government or military launches. ESA plans to discuss how the space agency can increase its support for Arianespace, such as guaranteeing a minimum level of business, during a June 13 meeting in Montreal.
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