Saturday, July 26, 2008
EADS Wins Satellite Contract
Europe's EADS-Astrium won a $72 million contract to build and launch a research and surveillance satellite for Chile. The satellite, going into space in 2010, will be used to monitor climate, forests, fishing and other civilian purposes. It will also watch over Chile's borders and have a role in military intelligence. The Ministry of Defense is funding the project, even though only 5% of its use will be military. The deal gives Chile's air force a space program, which will manage the satellite and its data collection. Update: A defense panel in Chile's legislature has summoned defense official to explain the rationale for acquiring the EADS-Astrium satellite. Lawmakers are questioning inconsistencies between the request for proposals and the model chosen. They also want to review other issues, including the pricetag and concerns that the satellite's resolution is too weak to serve military purposes.