April 1, 2015

CNES and Israel Space Agency (ISA) prepare launch of Venus and future cooperation

Wednesday 1 April, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall was in Tel Aviv to meet Menachem Kidron, Director General of the Israel Space Agency (ISA). Their meeting provided the opportunity to review progress on the Venµs programme that CNES and ISA are pursuing together, which is set to make a major contribution to environmental research.

The two agency heads discussed space cooperation between France and Israel, which dates back to 1994 when CNES and ISA signed a first framework cooperation agreement on the peaceful uses of space. In particular, they took the opportunity to review progress on the Venµs programme (Vegetation and Environment on a New Micro-Satellite), a key scientific partnership to further the study of the environment and vegetation using multispectral satellite imagery.

Venµs will deliver science data to support monitoring, analysis and modelling of land surfaces and the environmental and human factors affecting them. For this purpose, Venµs will acquire high-resolution, multispectral imagery of selected points of interest around the globe every two days.

The Venµs project is firmly on track, with the multispectral camera having already been delivered to ISA by CNES in November 2014 for integration with the satellite bus. Delivery of the satellite is scheduled in April 2016 for launch mid-year from the Guiana Space Centre atop a Vega launcher.

The meeting also discussed the strong backing that CNES will be lending for the next International Astronautical Congress (IAC), to be held in Jerusalem this October. It concluded with a presentation to ISA of areas of R&T where further cooperation with Israel could be envisioned.

After the meeting, Jean-Yves Le Gall commented: “I had a very constructive meeting with my Israeli counterpart where we were able to discuss cooperation between CNES and ISA, and especially our Venµs joint project. The enthusiastic response this project has received from the scientific community bodes well for its success in seeking to gain a closer understanding of our environment, which is a major social challenge for the decades ahead, and Venµs will be at the centre of debate at the next IAC in Jerusalem in a few months’ time, where CNES will be assuring a strong presence.”


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Contacts

Pascale Bresson Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 75 39 pascale.bresson@cnes.fr
Alain Delrieu Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 74 04 alain.delrieu@cnes.fr
Julien Watelet Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 78 37 julien.watelet@cnes.fr

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