|Industry||Space industry, Space tourism|
Astrium is an aerospace subsidiary of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) that provides civil and military space systems and services. In 2009, Astrium had a turnover of €4.8 billion and 15,000 employees in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands. Astrium is member of Institute of Space, its Applications and Technologies.
Its three main areas of activity are :
- Astrium Satellites for spacecraft and ground segment
- Astrium Space Transportation for launchers and orbital infrastructure
- Astrium Services for the development and delivery of satellite services
In June 2007, EADS Astrium announced it would be entering the space tourism sector. On June 20 2007 the company unveiled a model of the space jet, a one-stage sub-orbital hybrid craft, utilising both jet and rocket engines. Carrying four passengers, the space jet would take off from regular airports using conventional jet engines. Once flying to the needed altitude the rockets would then be fired. After reaching its final altitude of 100 km, passengers would experience weightlessness for three minutes. Tickets were expected to cost up to €200,000 with flights possibly beginning in 2012. EADS estimated development cost will approach 1 billion Euros. In March 2009 EADS Astrium confirmed that the program had been placed on hold indefinitely; the decision had been made in January of that year.
On-orbit satellite servicing
In September, 2012, Astrium won a €13 million mission "definition" and design contract from the DLR Space Administration to build a two-vehicle set of spacecraft to demonstrate several technologies necessary for on-orbit satellite servicing, including spacecraft refuelling, in order to enable satellite mission extension and also controlled disposal of a defective satellite. The project is entititled "DEOS" (German orbital servicing mission), and consists of "two satellites, a 'client' and a 'servicer'. The client acts as the satellite requiring maintenance or disposal. The servicer carries out the necessary work on the client." The two spacecraft will be launched together into low-Earth orbit of 550 kilometres (340 mi). As of 2012[update], the mission "will be ready for launch in 2018."
In 2010 Astrium signed with JSC NC Kazakhstan Gharysh Sapary (KGS), the national company charged with the development of Kazakhstan’s space programme, a contract for a Satellite Assembly, Integration and Test (AIT) Centre in Astana. 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 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 space museum.
- "Firm rockets into space tourism". BBC Online. 2007-06-13. Retrieved 2007-06-13.
- March, Rayon. "EADS Astrium puts its "space jet" on hold indefinitley - Hyperbola". Flightglobal.com. Retrieved 2013-03-27.
- "Astrium wins DEOS contract to demonstrate in-orbit servicing". Press Release. EADS Astrium. 2012-09-13. Retrieved 2012-09-25.
- "Kazakhstan and EADS Plan Strategic Partnership". The Gazette of Central Asia (Satrapia). 23 November 2012.
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