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Ariane 5 ME  
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 2018
Total Production: ?
Also Known As: Ariane 5 Midlife Evolution
Origin: France
Corporations: EADS Astrium* and Snecma   (*) lead contractor
Parent System: Ariane
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 1979
Total Production: 261
Family Members: Ariane 1, Ariane 2, Ariane 3, Ariane 4, Ariane 5 and Ariane 6
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Description: The Ariane launch vehicle family was developed to provide Europe with an independent space access capability. The primary target for the Ariane launcher are commercial satellites. The first Ariane 1 was launched in 1979 and since then Arianespace has strengthened its position becoming the world's leader in commercial launch services. The Ariane 1-3 were based on a three stages configuration comprising the L140 first stage powered by four strap-on Viking V engines, the L33 second stage powered by one Viking IV rocket motor, and the H8 upper stage powered by the HM-7 cryogenic engine.

The Ariane 5 ME (Midlife Evolution) is an improved variant of the Ariane 5 launcher being developed by EADS Astrium since 2003. It offers an increase of 20% in performance levels and a 20% reduction in cost per kilogram of payload compared with the current Ariane 5 ECA space launch rocket. Besides, Ariane 5 ME features two-in-one launcher design to better anticipate needs on the commercial market and for European institutions. It will be capable of placing up to 12 metric tons of payload in geostationary orbit. The European Space Agency (ESA) Council should take a decision on the new space launch system development in November 2012. The Ariane 5 ME might enter service by 2017.

The primary upgrade for the Ariane 5 ME launcher is a new upper stage equipped with a Vinci re-startable cryogenic engine, developed by Snecma. The nose fairing will also be extended three meters to accommodate larger and heavier payloads. The ME version will also have an expanded range that covers all types of satellite orbits. For example, it will be capable of simultaneously placing two satellites of over five tons each in orbit.

Ariane 5 ME Specifications

Crew: 0
Number of Stages: 2
Payload to GEO: 12,000 kilogram (26,455 pound)
CEP: Circular Error Probable
Meters (m)   Kilometers (km)   Nautic Miles (nm)   Inch (in)   Yard (yd)   Foot (ft)   Millimeter (mm)
Pound (lb)   Kilogram (kg)   kN (KiloNewton)   Ton (t)
Meters per Second (mps)   Kilometers per Hour (kph)   Knot (kt)   Miles per Hour (mph)
Liter (l)   Galon (gl)
Year (yr)   Minutes (min)   Second (sec)
Shaft-Horse-Power (shp)

Ariane 5 ME News

There are 5 news between
1 Dec 2011 and 12 Feb 2014
Wednesday, February 12, 2014Airbus Defence and Space Wins New ESA Contract for Ariane 6
Wednesday, October 16, 2013Astrium to Continue Development Work on Ariane 5 ME and Ariane6 Launchers
Wednesday, January 30, 2013ESA Awards Astrium Two Contracts to Design Ariane 6 and Continue Development of Ariane 5 ME
Tuesday, April 10, 2012Astrium Awarded ESA Contract to Continue Development of the Ariane 5 ME
Thursday, December 1, 2011Ariane 5 ME Passes Preliminary Design Review

Operators & Related Equipment


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