Monday, December 14, 2015

ESA, Airbus Sign $374 Million Contract for Jupiter Icy Moons Mission (JUICE)

The European Space Agency on Dec. 9 signed a contract with Airbus Defence and Space for the construction of ESA’s Juice – Jupiter Icy Moons – orbiter, scheduled for launch in 2022 aboard a European Ariane 5 rocket.

The contract had been expected since ESA’s July decision to approve a contract valued at 350.8 million euros ($374 million) with Airbus after a competition with Thales Alenia Space of France and Italy and OHB SE of Germany, which had submitted a joint bid.

Francois Auque, head of Airbus Space Systems, said Juice hardware will be produced as early as mid-2016, with the full contracting team from 60 companies lined up by 2017. Some 150 people will be working on the prime contractor’s project team at the program’s peak in 2017-2018, he said.

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