The Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and European company Arianespace have signed a contract on the delivery of seven Soyuz-ST launchers for Kourou missions by 2019, the Arianespace website reports.
"I am grateful to the entire crew and personnel who prepared the launch and positioned the satellite. The history of our collaboration is not very long but it is very fruitful. Speaking of the contracts we have concluded today and the agreements reached at the negotiations, I am confident that we will accomplish our goals not only in the launch of payloads but also on a broader scale of space exploration. I am grateful for the cordiality and attention given to our delegation. And I am confident that we have a big future in the ongoing discovery of the universe," Roscosmos head Oleg Ostapenko said before the contract signing ceremony.
The ceremony took place at the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, South America, after the successful positioning of European satellite Sentinel-1A with Russian launcher Soyuz-ST and was broadcasted on the Arianespace website.
Roscosmos head Ostapenko and Arianespace Executive Director Stephane Israel signed the document in the attendance of European Space Agency (ESA) Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain.
A source from the rocket and space industry told Interfax earlier that a supplementary contract had been concluded to supply more Soyuz-ST launchers to Kourou in French Guiana.
"The document stipulates the delivery of seven Soyuz [launchers] with the approximate value of $400 million," he said.
Seven Soyuz missions have been accomplished from Kourou since 2011, and another three missions are planned for 2014.
All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.