November 24, 2016

CNES’s Science Programmes Committee meets at Head Office in Paris Les Halles

CNES’s Science Programmes Committee (CPS) met on Wednesday 23 November at the agency’s Head Office in Paris Les Halles. The committee’s chief purpose is to advise the CNES Board of Directors on matters relating to space science research and to help it shape the agency’s science priorities.

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

Pascale Bresson    Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 75 39
Julien Watelet    Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 78 37