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CSO 1, 2

CSO [Astrium]

CNES, the French space agency, has notified Astrium that the DGA, the French arms procurement agency, has awarded the company a 795 million contract for two satellites for the optical space component (CSO, Composante Spatiale Optique) that will replace the current Helios 2 military observation satellites. The first satellite is scheduled to enter orbit in December 2016. The contract also includes an option for a third satellite.

As prime contractor for the CSO satellites programme, Astrium will provide the agile platform and avionics, and will also be responsible for the integration work, testing and delivery of the satellites to CNES. Thales Alenia Space will provide Astrium with the very-high resolution optical instrument.

An agreement between France and Germany was reached in April 2015, under which Germany contributes 200 Million to building a third satellite, and in exchange receives access rights to the imagery.

Nation: France
Type / Application: Reconnaissance, electro-optical
Operator: DGA
Contractors: EADS Astrium → Airbus Defence and Space (bus); Thales Alenia Space (payload)
Equipment: ?
Configuration: AstroSat-1000
Propulsion: ?
Power: 4 deployable fixed solar arrays, batteries
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
CSO 1 - 2018 Ko
CSO 2 - 2021 Ko
CSO 3 - Ko


  • Astrium Website
Further Helios missions: