Encyclopedia Astronautica
Ariane 5 ESC B

German space tug. Study 2006. Upper stage / space tug - in production. New upper stage for Ariane 5.

New upper stage engine in development for ESC-B upper stage for Ariane 5. Restartable.

Gross mass: 27,500 kg (60,600 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 3,400 kg (7,400 lb).
Height: 10.00 m (32.00 ft).
Diameter: 5.46 m (17.91 ft).
Span: 5.46 m (17.91 ft).
Thrust: 153.90 kN (34,598 lbf).
Specific impulse: 467 s.

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • Vinci Snecma, Ottobrunn lox/lh2 rocket engine. 180 kN. Upper Stages. In development. Isp=467s. Advanced expander cycle cryogenic propellant rocket engine with the capability of five in-space restarts. First hot-fire tests 2005. First flight 2010. More...

See also
Associated Propellants
  • Lox/LH2 Liquid oxygen was the earliest, cheapest, safest, and eventually the preferred oxidiser for large space launchers. Its main drawback is that it is moderately cryogenic, and therefore not suitable for military uses where storage of the fuelled missile and quick launch are required. Liquid hydrogen was identified by all the leading rocket visionaries as the theoretically ideal rocket fuel. It had big drawbacks, however - it was highly cryogenic, and it had a very low density, making for large tanks. The United States mastered hydrogen technology for the highly classified Lockheed CL-400 Suntan reconnaissance aircraft in the mid-1950's. The technology was transferred to the Centaur rocket stage program, and by the mid-1960's the United States was flying the Centaur and Saturn upper stages using the fuel. It was adopted for the core of the space shuttle, and Centaur stages still fly today. More...

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