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March 04, 2013

Astrium Seeks Partnership with Asia for Joint Earth Observation Satellite

By Jody Ray Bennett, TMCnet Contributing Writer

Astrium, an aerospace subsidiary of the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS), is speaking to countries outside of Europe such as Singapore about partnering to further develop GO-3S, the company’s newest geostationary Earth observation satellite.

Astrium is seeking outside partners to help with the funding of what it recognizes as a largely ambitious project.

Any country that invests in the program will get a dedicated capacity and share of revenue from services derived from the satellite. Since the satellite will be designed to follow Earth’s rotation, it can actually provide 14 hours of uninterrupted coverage per day, so long as there is daylight.

“We are looking for partners and investors in starting the project. We’ve already invested research and development money into this,” Pederson told Aviation Week on the sidelines of the Global Satellite & Technology Convention in Singapore, according to recent reports.

Pederson also says Singapore is in fact one of the countries more interested in the project, for which there are many reasons. He added that there is a lot of potential for business cooperation and technical cooperation.

Typically speaking, Singapore is interested in projects that are leading the market.

“We are creating a new market segment in which an investor can be at the forefront of technology and business. That is something that suits Singapore perfectly,” said Pederson, explaining why Singapore is so interested in partnering with them on their new project.

In late 2012, Astrium completed a feasibility study for the project and the development phase is set for some time between 2013 and 2015. Apparently, Astrium plans to start manufacturing the satellite in 2016, and operate it from space going forward from 2020.

The feasibility study revealed that there is a wide range of military and commercial applications for GO-3S.

Edited by Braden Becker

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