ESA’s Ariane 5 Midlife Evolution (ME) programme aims to raise the payload capacity of Ariane 5 from 10 to 12 tonnes, an increase of 20%.
The Astrium teams are working on the development of an entirely new upper stage for the launch vehicle. Among other things, it will feature a new, re-ignitable Vinci engine, which will make it possible to optimise the insertion into orbit of the satellites and other spacecraft it transports and prolong their service life in orbit.
The new upper stage for the Ariane ME will additionally benefit from improved reliability and safety.
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