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Astrium to fully equip Kazakhstan's Satellite Integration and Test Centre

Paris, 27 October 2010

* This second contract reinforces Astrium’s role as strategic partner in Kazakhstan’s space activities
* Astrium to deliver and install all test equipment at Kazakhstan’s Satellite Integration and Test Centre to be built in Astana
* Contract signed during President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev’s visit to Paris

The partnership between Astrium and JSC NC Kazakhstan Gharysh Sapary (KGS), the national company charged with the development of Kazakhstan’s space programme, has reached another major milestone with the signature of a contract for a Satellite Assembly, Integration and Test (AIT) Centre in Astana.

Astrium and KGS signed the agreement during the visit of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Mr Nazarbayev, to Paris on the 27th October.

Under the contract Astrium will provide and install the various test equipment (mechanical, radiometric, thermal and acoustic facilities) at the new AIT Centre. Astrium will also assist KGS in the construction of the AIT Centre to ensure coordination with the test equipment.

The signature follows a major contract signed in October 2009 by Astrium and KGS for the development of two Earth observation satellites.

The AIT Centre will form part of the ‘Space City’ that the Kazakhstan space agency, Kazcosmos, is developing in Astana. The city will also include the ground segment for the two Astrium-built satellites, as well an administrative building and a museum dedicated to the country’s long space history.

François Auque, CEO of Astrium declared after the signature:

“This new contract reinforces our strategic partnership with KGS and demonstrates Kazakhstan’s strong commitment to pursuing a national space programme”.

“We are now also working closely with KGS to best develop the distribution of Earth observation data and provide satellite services to the Government and private sector in Kazakhstan.”

A Joint Venture signed between KGS and Astrium in October 2009 to jointly manage the Astana AIT Centre and implement Kazakhstan’s future satellite programmes will now become operational.

Kazakhstan has been involved in spaceflight since the very beginning. In 1957, the Soviet Union chose Baikonur as the launch site for the first satellite, the legendary Sputnik 1. Then, in 1961, the world’s first astronaut, Yuri Gagarin, took off from Baikonur. Baikonur is still Russia’s primary launch site under lease from the Republic of Kazakhstan. Since the early space age, all the human Soyouz flights to the Space Stations have taken off from Baikonur.

Kazakhstan is now developing new ambitions in space as part of the programme "A New Kazakhstan in a New World".

One of the goals of this programme – launched ten years ago by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Mr Nursultan Nazarbayev – is to provide the country with the most advanced technology and to develop Kazakhstan’s own industrial expertise. Astrium, the European leader in space technology, is offering Kazakhstan its know-how via a strategic and technological partnership that will help the country fulfil its space ambitions.

About Astrium

Astrium, a wholly owned subsidiary of EADS, is dedicated to providing civil and defence space systems and services. In 2009, Astrium had a turnover of €4.8 billion and more than 15,000 employees in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands. Its three main areas of activity are Astrium Space Transportation for launchers and orbital infrastructure, Astrium Satellites for spacecraft and ground segment, and Astrium Services for comprehensive end-to-end value-added solutions covering secure and commercial satcoms and networks, high security satellite communications equipment, bespoke geo-information and navigation services worldwide.

EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2009, the Group – comprising Airbus, Astrium, Cassidian and Eurocopter – generated revenues of € 42.8 billion and employed a workforce of more than 119,000.

Press contacts:
Daniel Mosely
Astrium United Kingdom
Tel.: +44 14 38.77 81 80
Fax: +44 14 38.77 30 69

Matthieu Duvelleroy
Astrium France
Tel.: +33 1.77 75 80 32
Fax: +33 1.77 75 80 18

Ralph Heinrich
Astrium Germany
Tel.: +49.89 60 73 39 71
Fax: +49.89 60 72 97 65

Francisco Lechon
Astrium Spain
Tel.: +34 91.5 86 37 41
Fax: +34 91.5 86 37 82

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