Space: Competitor in the Cosmos

Europe's Arianespace is giving NASA a run for the money

Two days after Discovery's lift-off from Cape Canaveral, a rival space vehicle blasted into the heavens on a mission that was considerably less acclaimed but, for the commercial future of the U.S. space program, ominously successful. Ariane V 11, the latest effort of the eleven-nation European Space Agency, rose from the space center at Kourou in the equatorial jungles of French Guiana to an orbit of 22,300 miles above the equator. There the rocket deposited two communications satellites. One of them, like many of...

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