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SpaceX, owned by Elon Musk, is in talks with the ESA to permit the temporary use of its launchers

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r25IQAEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHwbnjgAAe90busAAAAASUVORK5CYII= SpaceX, owned by Elon Musk, is in talks with the ESA to permit the temporary use of its launchers

The European Space Agency (ESA) and Elon Musk’s SpaceX have started preliminary technical conversations that might result in the temporary use of SpaceX’s launchers after the Ukraine war prevented Western access to Russia’s Soyuz rockets.

The private American rival to Europe’s Arianespace has emerged as a prominent contender to fill a temporary gap with Japan and India, but final decisions depend on the still uncertain timeline for Europe’s delayed Ariane 6 rocket.

An inquiry for comment from SpaceX received no response.

The political repercussions of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have already benefited SpaceX’s Falcon 9, which has attracted additional clients who are breaking relations with Moscow’s increasingly isolated space industry.

A minimum of one Falcon 9 launch was scheduled for March by satellite internet provider OneWeb, a rival of SpaceX’s Starlink satellite broadband project. A launch in India has also been scheduled.

Aschbacher claimed that the conflict in Ukraine had shown that Europe’s ten-year plan of collaboration with Russia in gas supply and other areas, including space, had failed.

“This was a wake up call, that we have been too dependent on Russia. And this wake-up call, we have to hope that decision makers realise it as much as I do, that we have to really strengthen our European capability and independence.”

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