Ariane 5 Development Stages

from the European Space Agency

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The Ariane 5 is both versatile and robust. By using improved propulsion systems and new upper stages it can be adapted to carry out a variety of missions. An added benefit is that the Ariane-5 Plus launchers will be highly manoeuvrable and can be used for combined missions to send satellites into different orbits. Ariane-5 Evolution, planned for mid-2002. This will use an improved cryogenic main stage, with a new generation of Vulcain engine, to increase the launcher’s performance and enable it to lift into geostationary transfer orbit payloads weighing up to 7.4 tonnes.

Ariane-5 ESC-A, the first step of the Ariane 5 Plus Programme planned for mid-2002

This launcher, with its Ariane-5 Evolution lower stage, will have a cryogenic upper stage using the same engine as that used in the 3rd stage of the Ariane-4. This new version of Ariane 5 will be able to launch payloads of up to a 10 tonnes into geostationary transfer orbit.

Ariane-5 ESC-B, the 2nd step of the Ariane 5 Plus Programme planned for 2006

This will be the most powerful of the Ariane launchers. Its new upper stage will carry 25 tonnes of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen to feed a new powerful Vinci engine; an engine which will be able to carry out multiple restarts in flight and which will have enough power to put a dual payload of 12 tonnes into geostationary transfer orbit.