As part of the cooperation agreements with Russia, a contract was signed in Rome today between Alenia Spazio and RSC-Energia for the supply of components of the ATV logistical module for the International Space Station.

The ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle) is a logistical vehicle produced by ESA for the supply of propellant, air and water to the Space Station.

Alenia Spazio, a Finmeccanica company, recently signed a contract with EADS Space Transportation involving the production by the Italian company of 6 ATV vehicles, one per year, starting in 2006. The first flying example, called Jules Verne, has already been delivered and is in the advanced integration phase, in view of launching, which is planned for the first half of next year.

The contract signed today with RSC-Energia, worth approximately 40 million Euro, provides for the supply by the Russian aerospace company of the RDS docking system (Russian Docking System), the RFS propellant refuelling system (Refuel System) and all the electronic systems for controlling the two elements, RECS (Russian Equipment Control System). Collaboration between RSC-Energia and Alenia Spazio in the ATV programme began in 1999 and has been successful, leading to the design and subsequent delivery of two sets of elements, the first already perfectly integrated in the Jules Verne module and the second produced as a reserve.

The signing of this contract confirms the close ongoing cooperation between the Italian and Russian space industries necessary for the development of complex systems such as the orbiting station. Other collaboration projects between Alenia Spazio and RSC-Energia are currently being defined in the fields of manned missions, automatic exploration and telecommunications.