If this ever happens ESA will be royally screwed up. Some questions:
- What would Canada’s role be? Or for that matter Norway and Switzerlands?
- Why should the EU (or ESA member states) subsidise what is a quintessentially French activity (Ariane)? Is Ariane-5+ truly sustainable without a large subsidy?
- Why break up a trans-national organisation with noted expertise, international respect and a great track record?
ESA has shown itself to be capable of the long term planning and execution of large capital intensive, collaborative space projects. The European Commission has been playing politics with the Sentinel missions jeopardising their future. Who would you trust more? The French strategy is not in Europes interest it is in France’s interest (and probably only in the short term).