Airbus Defence and Space

Ariane 5 development

Airbus Defence and Space is working on a more powerful version of the launcher on behalf of ESA.

The European Space Agency (ESA) has signed a contract with Airbus Defence and Space for the initial development phase of its programme to enhance the performance of the Ariane launch vehicle and make it even more competitive.

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 new Ariane 5 is expected to make its first commercial flight around 2017.

Ariane 5Access to space