Arianespace Seals Rocket Deal

Sale is worth $5 billion

The European space rocket company Arianespace has struck a four-billion-euro deal to buy launchers from the French aerospace and defence giant EADS, the companies reported earlier this week.

Arianespace ordered 35 Ariane 5 ECA rocket launchers from EADS in a deal worth more than four billion euros (US$5 billion), bringing to 49 the total number of these launchers in production.

The contract will "ensure both independent access to space for Europe, and the best launch service and solutions on the market for all of Arianespaces customers," the statement said.

It said the new launchers would be used from the second half of 2010. Arianespace operates rocket launchers for purposes such as putting commercial satellites into orbit.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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