Encyclopedia Astronautica
Ariane 5 ESC B


Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 27,500/3,400 kg. Thrust 153.90 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 467 seconds. New upper stage for Ariane 5.

Status: In development.
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.
Burn time: 700 s.

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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...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Ariane 5 EC-B French orbital launch vehicle. The ultimate evolved Ariane 5 funded as of the end of the millenium. A larger Lox/LH2 upper stage using the Vinci motor in place of the HM7B. The core remains the same. Result is an increase in GTO payload from 10.5 tonnes to 12.0 tonnes. More...
  • Ariane 5ES Version of the Ariane 5 designed to orbit ESA's Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) resupply vehicle for the International Space Station. More...

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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