Despite the enormous delay taken by theEurope in the reusable launchers sector, the French government still wants to believe it. Passing through Normandy on the site of‘Ariane, the French Minister of the Economy Bruno the Mayor announced the project Maia Space, the final objective of which is to create a small reusable launcher by 2026. Unsurprisingly, this mission has been entrusted to ArianeGroup, which will have a positive effect on the payroll of the Vernon site:“Today, there are a little over 800 jobs on the Vernon site, by 2025 there will be nearly 1,000” promises the Minister of the Economy.
Already in the prototyping phase, the reusable Thémis launcher (here as an artist’s view) should serve as a working basis for the Maia project.
These additional positions will be assigned to the manufacture of Prometheus engines which will equip the first French reusable launchers. ArianeGroup should not waste time: Germany has recently set a similar goal, knowing that the first to reach goal could well win juicy launch contracts.
As for the distance competition with SpaceX, the simple fact of talking about it today is a little ridiculous, which Bruno Le Maire more or less recognizes: “We have fallen behind compared to our American partners who have developed SpaceX and Falcon 9, and this delay must be made up”. Remember that if (and only if) France achieves its objectives in 2026, it will ultimately be more than 10 years after the first test flight of a reusable SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket….