Callisto, a reusable first stage demonstrator.
Credit: CNES via

The French space agency, CNES, is exploring reusable rockets.

Jean-Marc Astorg, the head of CNES’ launch vehicles directorate recently gave a technical talk on Europe’s response to U.S. reusable launchers and its plans for the future. Also detailed: the pros and cons of reuse; Callisto, a reusable first stage demonstrator; an overview of worldwide development efforts, including China’s work on developing a reusable launcher too: Long March 8-R, to be ready for 2028.

Credit: CNES via










This article posted on is a translated transcript of what he said, illustrated by slides shown during the presentation.

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