Today, at the Guiana Space Centre, Kourou French Guiana, Mr Jean-Jacques
Dordain, ESA Director of Launchers, and Mr GÈrard Brachet, CNES Director
General, signed a contract on funding to cover the fixed costs of
“CNES/CGS facilities”.

The total amount of these fixed costs over the five years from 2002 to
2006 is put at EUR 617.4 million.

This contract follows on from the decision on Guiana Space Centre (CSG)
funding taken on 15 November last year in Edinburgh by the ESA Council
meeting at ministerial level, under which the Agency will cover two-thirds
of the fixed costs, EUR 411.6 m. The other third is being met by CNES out
of its budget for national activities, bringing the overall French
contribution to 56% of the total.

The ESA member states’ decision on this collective funding effort is a
mark of their solidarity with Europe’s launcher sector and the importance
they attach to it.

Europe’s spaceport at the CSG is a key component of the sector, ensuring
that Europe enjoys independent access to space and helping to optimise the
Ariane system’s overall competitiveness, which has been sustained by the
efforts of all partners at Kourou to drive costs down while consolidating
the quality of technical services.

The contract sets out the technical and financial arrangements for the use
of CNES/CSG facilities as defined in the agreement between the French
Government and ESA signed on Thursday 11 April in Paris.

Under the contract, the term “CNES/CSG facilities” means the CNES
facilities at the CSG and those belonging to ESA made available to CNES
for the purposes of carrying out the contract (the downrange stations and
the payload preparation complexes operated by CNES). The contract does
not however cover the Ariane launch sites in French Guiana made available
by ESA to Arianespace.

It is Arianepsace that is responsible for meeting the variable costs,
which depend on the number of launches carried out.

GÈrard Brachet took pride in the fact that “Europe has, in the CSG, one
of the best equipped and most efficient launch bases in the world. The
service to users is universally recognised as outstanding. The costs of
operational upkeep are well below those of the American bases funded by
the Department of Defense and, with productivity gains already identified,
they will be reduced by over 15% between now and 2006”.

“The process of Europeanising the CSG set in train under the previous
contracts is going to be continued through cooperation between the ESA and
CNES teams”, stated Jean-Jacques Dordain after the signing ceremony,
“especially in the field of industrial policy, the target being to ensure
that every ESA member state has a satisfactory industrial return by the
end of the period 2002-2006”.

For further information, please contact:

Franco Bonacina, ESA

Media Relations Office

Tel: +33(0)

Fax: +33(0)

Sandra Laly, CNES

Tel: +33(0)

Fax: +33(0)