At European level, CNES works hand in hand with the three prime players in space—the member states and their respective national space agencies, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Union (EU). Along with its partners, CNES guarantees Europe’s independent access to space and supports its commitment to the environment and climate as well as to developing the next generations of space systems. Joint science missions conducted by ESA and CNES place Europe firmly at the cutting edge, while the EU’s two flagship programmes—Galileo for satellite navigation and Copernicus for Earth observation—provide vital services to hundreds of millions of users.
At international level, and despite the highly competitive environment being fuelled by NewSpace, CNES remains a pivotal player in space. Examples include Japan’s Hayabusa2-MASCOT scout mission to the surface of asteroid Ryugu, the 2018 Mars landing of InSight carrying CNES’s SEIS seismometer, the Herschel and Planck space telescopes that have led to the discovery of new galaxies, and the inclusion of French experiments on board China’s Chang’E-6 mission to collect lunar samples in 2023-2024.
Pick of the day
International cooperation was the order of the day at an exceptional roundtable on the theme of exploration, attended by Spain’s Minister of Science, Innovation and Universities Pedro Duque and the heads of the world’s space agencies. These included UAESA Chairman Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, CSA Vice-President Luc Brûlé, Chair of the DLR Executive Board Pascale Ehrenfreund, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall, ASI President Giorgio Saccoccia, Deputy Head of Roscosmos Sergey Saveliev, ISRO Scientific Secretary R. Umamaheswaran, ESA Director General Jan Wörner, JAXA President Hiroshi Yamakawa and CNSA Vice-Administrator Wu Yanhua. This event organized by CNES provided an opportunity to discuss space agencies’ respective visions for the future of crewed and robotic space exploration. Answering questions from the press, all participants underlined the crucial role that international cooperation will play in the decades ahead.
CNES signed a trilateral agreement with the China National Space Administration (CNSA) and Eumetsat regarding Eumetsat’s use and distribution of CFOSat data. CFOSat is a France-China programme to study the interactions between winds and waves at the ocean surface. The data will serve to fine-tune marine weather forecasts and improve our understanding of climate mechanisms.
CNES and CNSA also highlighted their cooperation in the field of solar system exploration, signing a joint statement in this regard. In particular, the statement affirms their shared desire to identify a French payload to fly on China’s Chang’E-6 lunar mission.
CNES signed an agreement with France’s Occitanie Regional Council to promote the development of space applications in support of the regional economy. As space data and applications become part of our daily lives, CNES is working to secure partnerships with local authorities to leverage the economic potential of space activities.
On the initiative of CNES and DLR, a roundtable was held on the subject of Rail and Space Partnerships, attended by representatives from CNES and DLR plus French and German rail operators SNCF and Deutsche Bahn. Discussions centred on space’s contribution to rail mobility and new possibilities for cooperation.
The Generation ISS prizegiving ceremony was held in the presence of Frédérique Vidal, the French Minister for Higher Education, Research and Innovation, and Thomas Pesquet. Organized by CNES, the competition gives winning teams the chance to develop their project or experiment for Thomas Pesquet’s forthcoming mission on board the International Space Station (ISS). The winners are:
The merged ‘Platform’ and ‘Chladni Pattern’ projects from the Physical Measurements IUT technology institute at Toulouse III Paul Sabatier University, which cleverly combine technology, science and education within a unique, reusable platform.
The ‘Groot’ project from the Nantes School of Design merged with the ‘The Little Prince’s Rose’ project from Toulouse III Paul Sabatier University. The ‘Groot’ experiment plans to grow a tulip on the International Space Station and on Earth, doing it in a fun way. ‘The Little Prince’s Rose’ will concentrate on symbolic and poetic aspects to perform sensory experiments.
Today also saw the official launch of KINEIS, Europe’s first industrial nanosatellite programme dedicated to the Internet of Things (IoT). Conceived by CNES subsidiary CLS, KINEIS is the latest strategic player in the field of IoT. It has already made considerable progress in its bid to make connectivity cheaper and more efficient using the Argos system, and to connect several million objects located anywhere on the surface of the globe by 2030. Founded last July, KINEIS aims to become a leading player in NewSpace.
Coming up tomorrow
12:30 – Signing of an agreement with the Grand-Est Regional Council to develop regional space applications | CNES Chalet
15:30 – Launch of ActInSpace® international hackathon | CNES Chalet
16:10 – Visit of Amelie de Montchalin, Secretary of State with responsibility for European Affairs, to the CNES Pavilion | CNES Pavilion
Conference programme - Wednesday 19 June 2019 – Inside science
10:00 – Space boosting innovations in healthcare
10:45 – Taranis: beyond lightning
11:30 – Biomimetics applied to space
12:15 – InSight: taking the pulse of Mars
13:45 – ‘Let’s meet Space Start-ups’ pitches
15:00 – BepiColombo: en route to Mercury
15:45 – Connecting with gravitational waves