Before kicking off the CPS meeting, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall reviewed what was a record week for spacefaring France and Europe, with the successful launch of four new Galileo satellites, enabling the programme to enter its operational phase; the departure of France’s ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet from Baikonur on Thursday 17 November for a six-month mission on the International Space Station, where he will be performing numerous science experiments, of which 20 have been prepared by CADMOS1 at CNES; and the record crowds at events organized by CNES to accompany the launch at La Géode in Paris and the Cité de l’espace in Toulouse.
Jean-Yves Le Gall also mentioned Rosetta’s landing on comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 30 September, marking the grand finale of the Rosetta-Philae space adventure, and the COP22 in Marrakesh where seven French institutions—AFD, CNES, OIEau, CNR, IRD, IRSTEA and BRLi—signed a group agreement on 11 November to mobilize France’s world-renowned expertise in water-resource management for Southern Hemisphere nations. Lastly, he touched on the upcoming ESA Ministerial Council meeting in Lucerne, Switzerland, on 1 December after the recent agreement secured between the Ariane 6 programme partners.
Items on the agenda discussed at this CPS meeting included the ExoMars 2020 programme, the French-Chinese SVOM (Space Variable Objects Monitor) astronomy mission to detect gamma-ray bursts, and the MicroCarb mission.
1 Centre for the development of microgravity applications and space operations