complete element of a launcher that delivers the defined thrust during dedicated phase of the launcher mission
NOTE 1 A launcher stage typically consists of a main propulsion system, a reaction controlled system (sometimes integrated to some extend with the main propulsion system), supporting structure, forward and aft skirts, aerodynamic control and/or stabilized surfaces, a separation system and a destruction system.
NOTE 2 Some of the upper stages are also equipped with an avionics system.
NOTE 3 The Ariane 5 upper stage is made of cryogenic main stage (ESC) and vehicle equipment bay (VEB).
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