The European Space Agency (ESA) has said that India is an option
as it looks for new partners to launch its missions into space
after it lost access to Russian Soyuz launch vehicles.
'I would say there are two and a half options that we're
discussing. One is SpaceX, that is clear. Another one is possibly
Japan. It is waiting for the inaugural flight of its
next-generation rocket. Another option could be India,' ESA
Director General Josef Aschbacher told Reuters.
The development blocked western access to Russia's Soyuz launch
vehicle, which had been lifting off several European and American
missions, including satellites and astronauts. ESA, meanwhile, is
in the process of preliminary technical discussions with SpaceX to
use its launchers.
While the talks remain in an exploratory manner, Aschbacher said
that SpaceX is the more operational of those and certainly one of
the backup launches they are looking at. 'We of course need to make
sure that they are suitable. It's not like jumping on a bus. We are
looking into this technical compatibility but we have not asked for
a commercial offer yet. We just want to make sure that it would be
an option in order to make a decision on asking for a firm
commercial offer,' he added.
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