KOUROU, French Guiana — French space agency CNES and the European Space Agency (ESA) are evaluating near-term options for boosting the payload capacity of the Ariane 5 ECA through hardware improvements that officials say could quickly enhance the launch vehicle’s performance ahead of a planned midlife upgrade already underway. One such option would be to fast-track development of a longer Ariane 5 ECA payload fairing, stretching the current 17-meter nosecone to 19 meters to ...

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