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Russia signs deal to deliver 7 carrier rockets to France
April 4, 2014, 8:21 am

In this Sunday, June 5, 2011 file photo, the Russian Soyuz TMA-02M space ship that will carry new crew to the International Space Station, ISS, is transported from hangar to the launch pad at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan [AP]

In this Sunday, June 5, 2011 file photo, the Russian Soyuz TMA-02M space ship that will carry new crew to the International Space Station, ISS, is transported from hangar to the launch pad at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan [AP]

After NASA announced it is suspending certain contacts with Moscow, Russian space agency Roscosmos has landed a new deal from France to deliver seven additional Soyuz carrier rockets.

French space launch company Arianespace signed the contract with Roscosmos, the company said Friday.

The order was announced following the successful launch of a new Earth observation satellite aboard a Soyuz, which lifted off from French Guiana in South America.

The Russian-built rockets have been sending satellites into space for several years as part of a 2003 agreement between Russia and France.

Arianespace said the new order will allow it to fulfill private and governmental orders through 2018. Moscow hopes this will help to restore confidence in its once-pioneering space programme.

NASA announced Wednesday it will suspend certain contacts with Russia amid tensions over Ukraine, but said collaboration on the International Space Station, a $100 billion research complex orbiting 240 miles above Earth, will continue.

Astronauts of the two countries are currently living and working together in the orbiting outpost.

Even though it is a major player in the industry, Russia holds less than 10 per cent of the multi-billion dollar global space market.

Source: Agencies

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