Astana, October 6th, 2009 - The partnership between Airbus Defence and Space 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 two Earth observation satellites, and the foundation documents to create a Joint Venture for the construction of an Assembly, Integration and Test Facility in Astana.
Airbus Defence and Space and KGS signed the two agreements during the State visit of the French President, Mr Sarkozy, to Mr Nazarbaev, the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the 5th and 6th October.
François Auque, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space declared after the signature:
“2009 is a great year for the partnership of KGS and Airbus Defence and Space. This new space system will provide the Republic of Kazakhstan with access to a wide range of civil applications including monitoring natural resources and agriculture as well as providing mapping data and rescue operation support in the event of a disaster. It will also put the Republic of Kazakhstan at the forefront of current space technology and complement the country’s space heritage, most famous for the Baikonur spaceport. The images from the Earth observation satellites will also be distributed globally by Airbus Defence and Space’s subsidiary Spot Image.”
Under the satellites contract Airbus Defence and Space will:
- Provide a space system with two Earth observation satellites - one of high resolution with a ground resolution of 1m, the other medium resolution with a ground resolution of 7m and a wide coverage swath.
The high resolution satellite will be entirely provided by Airbus Defence and Space in France and will be based on the already well known platform of THEOS and Formosat-2. The camera will be based on the Silicon Carbide technology that is now used on all Airbus Defence and Space optical instrument design. This technology, developed by Airbus Defence and Space and unique in the world, has already been used on numerous instruments on board satellites, including the recent Herschel-Planck ESA mission.
The medium resolution satellite is also remarkable as it is the result of the first collaboration between Airbus Defence and Space and its recently acquired subsidiary SSTL in the UK. Under this contract, SSTL will provide the satellite based on the SSTL 150 platform.
- Provide the associated Ground Segment, both for the control and for the image data reception, which will be implemented in Astana
- Train Kazakh engineers in satellite technology.
Under the foundation agreement, Airbus Defence and Space and KGS have agreed to set up a Joint Venture in Kazakhstan. Objectives of this Joint Venture will be:
- To implement an Assembly, Integration and Test facility in Astana
- To jointly manage this facility and implement the Republic of Kazakhstan’s space programme
The two companies have already concluded the preliminary design of the Centre for Integration and Test of Satellites that will soon be established in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. This first step was signed in June 2009 during the Paris Air Show.
Kazakhstan has been involved in spaceflight since the very beginning. In 1957, the USSR 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.
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 Kazakh Republic, Mr Nursultan Nazarbayev – is to provide the country with the most advanced technology and to develop Kazakhstan’s own industrial expertise. Airbus Defence and Space, the European leader in space technology, is offering the Kazakhs its know-how via a strategic and technological partnership that will help the country fulfil its space ambitions.
Worldwide position in Earth Observation solutions
This contract allows Airbus Defence and Space to confirm its worldwide position as the predominant provider of Earth observation solutions from space. As the leading space company in Europe, Airbus Defence and Space has been successful in both the telecommunications and Earth observation markets, achieving major successes for countries wishing to develop their space activities in a cooperative manner.
About JSC NC Kazakhstan Gharysh Sapary
JSC NC Kazakhstan Gharysh Sapary is the National Company in charge of the development of the Space Program in Kazakhstan. The Company headquarter is located in Astana City. President is Mr Gavyllatyp Murzakulov. The Company reports directly to the National Space Agency Kazcosmos, headed by Mr Talgat Musabaev (Former Cosmonaut and hero of the Republic of Kazakhstan). KGS Company has been founded in 2005 and has already established technical centres located in Almaty and Baikonur.
About Airbus Defence and Space
Airbus Defence and Space, a wholly owned subsidiary of AIRBUS Group, is dedicated to providing civil and defence space systems and services. In 2008, Airbus Defence and Space had a turnover of €4.3 billion and 15,000 employees in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands. Its three main areas of activity are Airbus Defence and Space Transportation for launchers and orbital infrastructure, Airbus Defence and Space for spacecraft and ground segment and Airbus Defence and Space for the development and delivery of satellite services.
AIRBUS Group is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2008, AIRBUS Group generated revenues of €43.3 billion and employed a workforce of more than 118, 000.
Daniel Mosely (Airbus Defence and Space UK) Tel.: +44 (0)1 438 77 8180
Matthieu Duvelleroy (Airbus Defence and Space FR) Tel.: +33 (0) 1 77 75 80 32
Ralph Heinrich (Airbus Defence and Space GER) Tel.: +49 (0) 89 607 33971
Francisco Lechón (Airbus Defence and Space SP) Tel.: +34 91 586 37 41