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ISRO, CNES sign agreement on satellite launch technology


Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and French Space agency (CNES) on 9 January 2017 signed a Partnership Agreement for satellite launch technology.
The agreement was signed between ISRO Chairman Kiran Kumar and CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall. This partnership agreement will enable France to benefit from the Indian model of streamlining the costs of space programmes.

ISRO is the second partner of CNES, in terms of volume after NASA. The space programmes of both countries are complementary in terms of comparable size and sharing similar objectives.

Agreement between CNES and Axiom Research Lab

Moreover, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall also signed an agreement with Rahul Narayan for equipping Axiom Research Lab's lunar rover with two latest-generation CASPEX micro-cameras which was developed by CNES in partnership with French firm 3DPlus.

Rahul Narayan is the CEO of leading Indian 'NewSpace' start-up Axiom Research Labs. Axiom Research has put forward TeamIndus, an Indian team competing for the Google Lunar XPRIZE which is a global competition for engineers and entrepreneurs to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration.

With this agreement, CNES will be sending French technology for the first time on lunar terrain by joining forces with Team Indus.

Background

Space cooperation between France and India spans for over 50 years and is one of the cornerstones of the Indo-French strategic partnership.

Since the 1990s, CNES and ISRO have been collaborating in the launch of space missions including Megha-Tropiques in 2011, the Indo-French joint satellite mission launched for studying the water cycle and energy exchanges in the tropics.

Currently, the Indo-French satellites are monitored by ISTRAC (ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network). ISTRAC monitors Indian space missions including the two Indo-French satellites which are currently in orbit for collecting data to track climate change.

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