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ESA selects Astrium to study NGL project


Artistic impression of ESA's future launchers.

PARIS (BNS): The European Space Agency (ESA) has selected Astrium to undertake initial development studies for its Next Generation Launcher (NGL), which will be used for future satellite launches.

The total cost of the 15th month contract is of approx USD 10.76 million in which Astrium will contribute USD 1.90 million.

“This contract will enable Astrium to investigate the most promising options for the next generation of European launcher in collaboration with nine European countries with past experience of working on the Ariane programme.” Astrium Space Transportation CEO Alain Charmeau, said in an EADS company news release.

The NGL project is a part of ESA’s Future Launcher Preparatory Programme (FLPP). The project study will look towards 2025 for institutional missions covering a performance range from three tonnes into geostationary orbit (including a four tonne segment into sun-synchronous orbit (SSO)) through eight tonnes.

According to the release, ESA will phase the NGL project in a new version of Ariane 5 called Ariane 5ME. The Ariane 5ME represents a much-needed response to the institutional and commercial markets’ requirements for a medium-term launch capacity for heavy satellites in geostationary orbit (with a launch mass of more than 11 tonnes).

The NGL project has been divided into three parts: definition of a launcher concept, required technological innovations, and the costs of building and operating the new launch vehicle.

The study will focus on modular concepts capable of covering the intermediate propulsion power range.

Tags:

ESA  satellite  

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