Launchers have dominated the space sector news at this show.

The Lockheed Martin deal to buy $1billion-worth of Russian rocket engines is a classic demonstration of the new era of the space business - the exodus of Russian space technology into the US business arena.

It may be good business for Russia in the short term, but just how much does Russia get out of these deals?

Is it getting as much as a similar Western supplier would and is the money going to the right places?

What will have happened to the Russian space programme in 10 years, and will Russia regret losing its once-great space programme to the West?

The highly competitive nature of the launcher business has also been illustrated by the four new contracts won by Arianespace, bringing its outstanding orderbook to 42 satellites, while the Lockheed and Russian Khrunichev-Energia-led ILS International Launch Services claimed it had 49 and were neck-and-neck with the European launcher company.

All eyes are on Ariane 5 now- the launch campaign has started and the countdown clock is ticking. This time it must not fail.

If it does, it "-could be a disaster for the European space programme", in the words of a leading space executive.

Source: Flight Daily News