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European co-operation agreement concerning promotion and preparation of commercial ISS utilisation

Bremen, 22 March 2002

* Astrium signs agreement with ESA and companies of the European aerospace industry
* Commercial utilisation now also available to the private sector
* Astrium will start promotion initiative during the Hannover Fair to be held from 15 to 20 April 2002

For the first time, European ISS resources may also be used for commercial activities by customers from the private sector. This is the result of a new co-operation agreement concerning promotion and preparation of commercial ISS utilisation, which Astrium signed with ESA and ten companies of the European aerospace industry. Astrium is ESA's most important industrial partner in the construction and operation of the International Space Station. The purpose of this agreement is to promote commercial utilisation of the Space Station in the fields of life and materials sciences, technology development, communications, earth observation, advertising and entertainment. The agreement is also intended to strengthen the market position of the European aerospace industry in ISS customer servicing.

"Having agreed upon a new quality of co-operation in ISS utilisation promotion with ESA and our European partners is essential for Astrium", said Dr. Stefan Graul, Director Orbital Infrastructure and Operations at Astrium's Space Infrastructure business division, when the agreement was signed. "Under contract to ESA, we are responsible for the construction of the European space laboratory Columbus and numerous experiment facilities for use on the International Space Station. We are thus able to contribute our competency in this sector to the promotion of commercial ISS utilisation and to provide an end-to-end service to our customers", continued Dr. Graul. By establishing the BEOS operation and utilisation centre in Bremen Astrium created the necessary pre-requisites and paved the way for implementation at the international level.

In addition to science-oriented basic research, it is the declared aim of the agreement to increasingly attract commercial customers for the working opportunities in space. For this purpose, ESA will allocate up to 30% of the European ISS resources in the medium term. Broad access of commercial users to the "Laboratory Space" shall be prepared and developed with the help of a concerted policy and co-ordinated promotion activities.

Under the motto "We open up Space for Business", Astrium will present a vast range of ISS utilisation services during the Hannover Fair to be held from 15 to 20 April 2002 (Research & Technology trade fair, Hall 18, Stand E18) for the first time. Dr. Graul emphasised the importance of the Hannover Fair to industrial utilisation of space: "The Research & Technology trade fair is an ideal market-place to start our promotion activities in this completely new business sector".

Astrium is a joint company of EADS European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (75%) and BAE SYSTEMS (25%). The Space Infrastructure business division of Astrium develops and operates space laboratories and experiment facilities. The division also develops stages and propulsion systems for the Ariane family of launchers as well as propulsion systems for satellites. Astrium Space Infrastructure was able to achieve a turnover of € 800 million in 2000 with a labour force of 3,000.

Bremen, 22 March 2002

Your contact:
Kirsten Leung
Astrium Space Infrastructure
Phone: +49-421-539-5326 / Fax: +49-421-493-4534


an EADS joint Company with BAE SYSTEMS
Astrium GmbH
Space Infrastructure Division
Press and Information
Postfach 28 61 56
28361 Bremen
Telefon +49 (0)421 539-53 26
Telefax +49 (0)421 539-45 34

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