CNES and ISRO sign new cooperation agreement at the Élysée Palace

cnesAs part of the state visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, CNES and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) signed an agreement on 10th April 2015 to pursue their historic partnership in space at the Élysée Palace, in the presence of the French President. Later on Saturday 11th April, the Indian Prime Minister and his delegation visited the Toulouse Space Centre, one of CNES’s four centres of excellence.
The signing of this agreement gives fresh impetus to French-Indian space cooperation, which is already intense and is a key strategic strand of the dialogue between the two governments. With the new agreement, the first of such importance since 1993, the close links between the two countries have been further strengthened. It is the longest collaboration in space that India has undertaken with a European nation and confirms CNES’s place as ISRO’s chief international partner, following the memoranda of understanding signed in 2004, 2007 and 2010, and the long-term statement of intent on space cooperation signed in 2013.
The purpose of the new agreement is to establish a cooperation framework to support future joint missions and activities in the peaceful uses of outer space. It will strengthen the cooperation in place in remote sensing, telecommunication and weather satellites, space science and planetary exploration, data collection and location, operation of ground receiving stations, management of space missions, research and applications. Several objectives have been identified, including flying an Argos 4 instrument on ISRO’s Oceansat mission in 2018, the start of studies for a joint thermal-infrared Earth-observing mission and support from CNES for India’s future Mars mission.
The importance of this cooperation illustrated on Saturday 11 April with the visit by the Indian Prime Minister and his delegation to the Toulouse Space Centre, where they will be shown operations being conducted by CNES for the Rosetta–Philae mission and for the Curiosity rover on Mars.
After the signing, Jean-Yves Le Gall commented: “I am particularly proud to have signed this agreement today, which gives fresh impetus to the fantastic cooperation between France and India in space. More than 20 years after the last cooperation agreement signed by CNES and ISRO, we look forward to meeting the exciting space challenges that lie ahead for us and continuing to write the history of 21st century space exploration together.”

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