April 27, 2018

France-Germany space cooperation - CNES and DLR step up partnership at ILA air show

At the ILA air show taking place from 25 to 29 April in Berlin, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall and Pascale Ehrenfreund, Chair of the Executive Board of the German space agency DLR (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft und Raumfahrt), signed a letter of intent on technology and disruptive innovation in space to step up the two nations’ joint efforts in these areas, in line with the policy directions outlined by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

They also signed a first amendment to the 2016 framework cooperation agreement on studies for future launchers and propulsion systems, as well as a letter of intent on research and development covering a range of areas including reusable launchers, the Space Tug, the International Space Station (ISS), space exploration and climate actions.

As France is this year’s guest of honour at the air show, CNES and DLR are showcasing their joint projects together, notably with a scale 1 mock-up of the MERLIN (Methane Remote sensing Lidar missioN) satellite. Developed in partnership with numerous French and German research institutes, MERLIN will be launched in 2021 and is set to provide measurements of unprecedented precision of atmospheric methane concentrations for climate research.

On the sidelines of today’s signing event, Jean-Yves Le Gall commented: “France and Germany have established a special relationship in space. The ILA air show is a great opportunity to showcase the joint missions our two nations are working on. These new agreements signed today by CNES and DLR are a testament to our shared ambition to forge the future of space together and will pave the way for us to examine in depth new areas of cooperation.”

Pascale Bresson    Press Officer    Tel: +33 (0)1 44 76 75 39    pascale.bresson@cnes.fr
Raphaël Sart    Press Officer    Tel: +33 (0)1 44 76 74 51    raphael.sart@cnes.fr