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Ariane 5 ME – launch video animation worth a look

10 Apr 2012, 15:00 UTC
Ariane 5 ME – launch video animation worth a look
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Following its December 2011 decision to push ahead with the long-mooted Midlife Evolution update to add 20% payload capacity to its 10-tonne Ariane 5 heavy-lift launcher, the European Space Agency has awarded Astrium a €112 million contract for the job.
Pending budget approval by ESA member states in late 2012, the project will be slated for a test flight in 2017.
With a new restartable cryogenic upper stage, and nose fairing extended by 3m, the ME will be capable of simultaneously placing two satellites of more than five tonnes each in geostationary orbit, cutting launch cost per kilogramme by 20% compared with today’s Ariane 5 ECA.
Astrium has released this animation of an ME launch with dual payload.

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