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COSMO-SkyMed 2 satellite successfully launched from Vandenberg US base

10 December 2007

Vandenberg, December 10, 2007 - At 18.30 PST/Pacific Standard Time (03.30 Paris time on December 9th), the second satellite of the COSMO-SkyMed constellation, designed and manufactured by Thales Alenia Space as prime contractor, was launched from the US Air Force base at Vandenberg (California) by a Delta II rocket.

The COSMO-SkyMed system, made up of four radar satellites, is the first dual use Earth Observation constellation able to operate in all weather and light conditions.

Total investments for the realisation of the whole system cost around 1 billion euro. The programme derives from an agreement made between the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and the Italian Ministry of Defence.

COSMO-SkyMed, the most advanced Earth observation system in the world, has a large number of applications for both civil and military use. It aims to monitor and survey the globe for civil protection, including management of environmental risks, for national security, as well as for scientific and commercial purposes. The constellation allows the evaluation of the situation at a global level, thanks to the sophisticated radar technology installed onboard the satellites.

COSMO-SkyMed will liaise with the French optical system, Helios 2, and will operate with the two Saocom satellites (Argentina), implementing, thanks to an agreement between ASI and CONAE, the Siasge system. COSMO-SkyMed will represent a milestone for the European Environmental Monitoring System (GMES).

The third satellite will be launched during summer 2008 from the Vandenberg base in California.

About Thales Alenia Space
European leader in satellite systems and at the forefront of orbital infrastructures, Thales Alenia Space is a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Finmeccanica (33%). Together with Telespazio, Thales Alenia Space forms the "Space Alliance" between the two groups. The company is a worldwide reference in telecoms, radar and optical Earth observation, defense and security, navigation and science. With 7200 employees and 11 industrial sites, Thales Alenia Space is located in France, Italy, Spain and Belgium.

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