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Astrium Contracts MDA for Technology Support; Selected for U.K. Science Hub

By | July 22, 2010

      [Satellite TODAY 07-22-10]  Canadian satellite company MDA has been awarded a contract to provide four advanced technology solutions to EADS Astrium for integration on Astra satellites, MDA announced July 21.
          The contract, worth more than $12.5 million, will see MDA provide support technology for satellites that Astrium is building for SES. The satellites are scheduled for launch between 2012 and 2014 and will provide next generation broadcast, VSAT and broadband services in Europe and Africa, as well as add new capacity for the SES group over the coming years.
           MDA was contracted to provide advanced technology solutions to EADS Astrium for the Astra 1N and Astra 3B satellites in 2007 and 2009, respectively. Financial details of the contracts were not disclosed.
          Separately, Astrium announced July 21 that it has been selected by the U.K. Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) to develop an Earth observation Hub at the U.K. International Space Innovation Center (ISIC).
          The $7.45 million contract will see Astrium lead an industrial consortium including Vega, SSTL and Infoterra, in designing and integrating a hub with the ability to coordinate multiple satellites, and a U.K.-specific capability for payload data processing. The hub is expected to be operational by March 2011.
          The development of the hub was a key recommendation of the United Kingdom’s Space Innovation Growth Strategy, issued earlier in 2010. “It is envisaged that the new hub will be amongst the first in Europe that will actively encourage direct collaboration between government, industry and academia in developing a centre of excellence for satellite operations and the acquisition of [Earth observation] data, whilst providing new opportunities for products and user delivery,” U.K. Minister for Universities and Science David Willets said in a statement.

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