August 23, 2018

France-Canada space cooperation - Successful Strato-Sciences 2018 balloon launch campaign in Timmins, Ontario CNES and CSA sign letter of intent

Wednesday 22 August in Timmins, Ontario, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall met his Canadian counterpart and friend Sylvain Laporte, President of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), for a wide-ranging discussion of possible new areas of cooperation, signing to this end a letter of intent on scientific ballooning in the presence of the Mayor of Timmins, Steve Black. They also took the opportunity to watch a balloon launch.

The two agency heads took advantage of the Strato-Sciences 2018 balloon launch campaign underway at Timmins throughout the month of August to meet and confirm through the signature of this letter of intent their desire to continue working together in the field of stratospheric ballooning and to look at the possibility of extending the scope of their cooperation. In particular, they are seeking to broaden the range of balloons operated to small light dilatable balloons (LDBs) and to explore the possibility of long-duration scientific balloon flights across the Atlantic between the Esrange launch base in Sweden—another major balloon launch site—and Canada.

The two men then paid a visit to the Timmins balloon launch base, where they watched the launch of a stratospheric balloon operated by CNES carrying the CABUX payload. The visit gave them the chance to meet and congratulate their respective teams, as well as those from the universities and research laboratories present at the base and the students taking part.

On this occasion, Jean-Yves Le Gall commented: “Since the signature in 2012 of the first agreement between CNES and CSA on stratospheric ballooning, as a result of which CSA has developed the Timmins balloon launch site in Ontario and Canadian and French payloads have been flown by CNES balloons, we have accomplished great things together. I am delighted to see that this collaboration has even been extended to European partners for the HEMERA project under the Horizon 2020 programme. My friend Sylvain Laporte and I have agreed to discuss other equally promising areas when we next meet at the start of October at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Bremen, where of course we will be talking about the Space Climate Observatory and its place in the international arena.”

Pascale Bresson    Press Officer    Tel: +33 (0)1 44 76 75 39
Raphaël Sart    Press Officer    Tel: +33 (0)1 44 76 74 51