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In 2014, the decision of ESA Council at Ministerial level on the development of Ariane 6 was accompanied by a change in the governance of the European launcher sector, which is now based on a more balanced sharing of responsibility, cost and risk from design to exploitation by ESA and industry.
This gives industry considerably more responsibility in designing the new launcher, managing the industrial organisation, determining the needs of commercial customers and exploiting the product commercially. In turn, industry is required to contribute to the development costs and to increase its accountability in the commercial exploitation.
The new governance approach will significantly contribute to delivering an Ariane 6 to the launch pad with the same launch capability but at 50% of the cost of the current Ariane 5.
The ESA Member States that contribute to ESA’s Launchers Programme are also involved in the manufacture of Ariane and Vega launchers. They benefit from their investment in the programme through contracts awarded to their space industry.