Ariane 5's powerful solid rocket booster is the largest produced in Europe generating 700 tonnes of thrust for liftoff.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos unveiled plans Monday for a massive rocket called New Glenn designed to launch people to space and propel satellites into orbit, raising the ante in the US commercial space industry.
Arianespace launched a Vega rocket on a complex mission early this morning that demonstrated the flexibility of its upper stage and multisatellite carrier.
A massive fireball and explosion erupted Thursday at SpaceX's main launch pad, destroying a rocket as well as a satellite that Facebook was counting on to spread internet service in Africa.
SpaceX has a taker for the first flight of one of its recycled rockets.
European aircraft and aerospace giant Airbus has unveiled plans for a reusable space rocket launcher that should be ready in 2025, which the firm says will be radically different from the concept of rival US firm Space X.
SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk is calling last week's launch pad accident the "most difficult and complex failure" in the company's 14-year history.
In the booming commercial space business, ventures founded by tech billionaires Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Paul Allen are reinventing the most expensive aspect - launching spacecraft into orbit.
Rocket-based spaceflight was proposed 30 years earlier than previously thought by a Canadian university head, a space historian says.