|exploring all our options post shuttle -
French Firm Vaults Ahead In Civilian Rocket Market
By Andy Pasztor
Monday, June 25, 2007
KOUROU, French Guiana -- Using an isolated launch site in this remote French outpost, a suburban Paris-based rocket operator has managed to gain new international clout -- along with some unlikely U.S. fans.
When the company, closely held Arianespace, blasted a pair of commercial satellites into orbit last month, the list of dignitaries watching the launch included Michael Griffin, administrator of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Mr. Griffin had good reason to check out the company's massive Ariane 5 rocket. NASA plans to retire its aging space-shuttle fleet in 2010.
. . .