PARIS, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- Europe's space company Astrium announced Wednesday that it has been awarded three new contracts by the European Space Agency (ESA) for the development of the rocket launchers, Ariane 6 and Ariane 5 ME.
"These three contracts will give Astrium's teams, along with their European industrial partners, the opportunity to build on the substantial amount of work that has already been done on the Ariane 5 ME development," said Alain Charmeau, CEO of Astrium Space Transportation.
He added it would also aid "the feasibility study for Ariane 6, the design of which has now been finalized."
A wholly-owned subsidiary of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, Astrium is the leading company in Europe for space technologies. It is the only global company that covers the full range of civil and defence space systems, equipment and services.
In 2012, Astrium had a turnover over 5.8 billion euros (7.8 billion U.S. dollars) and 18,000 employees worldwide.