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ESA approves Ariane 6, ISS funding
Posted: Thu, Dec 4, 2014, 5:18 AM ET (1018 GMT)
Ariane 64 illustration (ESA) European space ministers meeting this week approved plans to develop a new version of the Ariane rocket and also extend funding for the International Space Station. Ministers approved the development of the Ariane 6, a vehicle that will replace the existing Ariane 5 and offer lower launch costs. The Ariane 6 is expected to enter service by the end of the decade. The ministers also approved the development of an upgraded version of the Vega small launch vehicle, the Vega-C. Ministers approved funding of the ISS through 2017, and endorsed its operations through 2020, although funding for the final three years will be provided at a future meeting. ESA ministers also approved funding for the service module for NASA's Orion spacecraft, which will be based on ESA's ATV cargo vehicle.
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