Astrium Signs Deal with Kazakhstan


Astrium CEO François Auque and Gavyllatyp T. Murzakulov, CEO of JSC National Company “Kazakhstan Gharysh Sapary”, a company reporting to the National Space Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan, have signed a technological and strategic partnership agreement that will allow Astrium to play an active role in the development of the Republic of Kazakhstan’s space industry.

  • Kazakhstan will order two Earth observation satellites from Astrium
  • Astrium will set up a joint venture with its partner JSC National Company “Kazakhstan Gharysh Sapary” to operate the satellite integration centre that it will build in Astana
  • A major training programme for Kazakhstan engineers is included in the agreement

Within the framework of the agreement, Astrium will build a major satellite integration centre that will be part of the future Kazakhstan national space centre planned for the country’s new capital, Astana. A joint venture between Astrium and JSC National Company “Kazakhstan Gharysh Sapary” will run the integration centre.

Astrium will also provide Kazakhstan with two Earth observation satellites, as well as receiving stations for the Spot and TerraSAR-X satellites.

The increasing use of satellite imagery is spurring the development of Kazakhstan’s satellite capabilities. A major partnership is planned in this sector with Spot Image and Infoterra – the two companies developing the market for satellite imagery applications as part of Astrium Services. Kazakhstan has already chosen several applications for mapping, the environment, agriculture, and management of the country’s significant natural resources. The applications will be operational very shortly.

Astrium will train more than 100 Kazakhstan engineers in satellite integration and satellite imagery processing. The training will take place in Kazakhstan and at Astrium’s site in Toulouse.

Kazakhstan has been involved in spaceflight since the very beginning. In 1955, 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. Leased from Kazakhstan, Baikonur is still Russia’s foremost launch site today. Talgat Musabayev was one of two Kazakhstan astronauts who worked for the USSR / Russia. He is now Head of the new National Space Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan, “Kazcosmos”.