Access to space
Europe needs to maintain an efficient autonomous fleet of launchers and the infrastructure to access space. Without this, it would be impossible to pursue a truly European space policy.
The Ariane family of launchers (Ariane 4 and 5) is one of Europe's major space technological successes and has provided independent access to space for the last 30 years. More than 300 satellites have been launched successfully from Europe’s spaceport in French Guiana! More than half of the commercial satellites in service today were launched with Ariane launchers. Europe has also developed recently a new launcher, the Vega launcher for launching smaller payload to space. In addition, the Russian Soyuz launcher can now be launched from French Guiana.