Astrium wins ESA contracts to design Ariane 6 and continue development of Ariane 5 ME

by Staff Writers
Paris (ESA) Feb 04, 2013

The European Space Agency (ESA) has awarded Astrium, Europe’s leading space technology company, euro 108 million worth of prime contractor agreements covering the development of the Ariane 6 and Ariane 5 ME launchers. The contracts follow on from the decisions reached at the ESA Ministerial Council meeting in Naples on 20-21 November 2012.

Under these contracts, Astrium will launch the initial definition and feasibility studies for the future Ariane 6 European launcher. Expected to run for six months, the study phase aims to identify the concept and architecture for Ariane 6 and will set out the new launcher’s main specifications prior to its industrial development.

An outline of Ariane 6′s design has already been established: it will be a modular rocket with a payload capacity of 3 to 6.5 metric tons in geostationary orbit. Dubbed PPH, the launcher’s configuration comprises two lower stages in which solid propellant is used and a cryogenic upper stage powered by a Vinci restartable engine, developed by Snecma (Safran Group).

Read more: Astrium wins ESA contracts to design Ariane 6 and continue development of Ariane 5 ME — Space Travel.

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