Astrium has won a $266 million contract to help the European Space Agency run and exploit the International Space Station’s European components in an effort to enhance functions of ESA’s space laboratory.
The contract covers a $60 million spare parts purchase and Astrium will work to develop services for maintaining the European Columbus space laboratory, Airbus Group said Dec. 17.
Astrium is also responsible for training astronauts, managing logistics for the Columbus space laboratory and collaborating with scientists to design new payloads.
The EADS subsidiary leads a consortium of 40 industrial partners as a prime contractor of the ISS program.
“Together with our industrial partners, we have made considerable efforts to reduce costs, while maintaining the accustomed high level of service, one of the requirements of our contract with ESA,” said Bart Reijnen, orbital systems and space exploration at Astrium.
The contract began in 2013 and will run through 2014 and is part of an existing ISS agreement between ESA and Astrium set to run through 2020.
Astrium will also provide other services such as data transfer, communication systems and ground station maintenance.