On the occasion of the ILA air show in Berlin in April, CNES and DLR 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.
It is in this context that Pascale Ehrenfreund was given a presentation of CNES’s activities, focused especially on those at the CST. Innovation at CNES was naturally illustrated by the Connect by CNES initiative through which the agency is seeking to promote and position its Innovation & Applications support offering. Space exploration was also spotlighted with a status check on the MMX (Mars Moon eXploration) mission with JAXA to return samples from Phobos.
Pascale Ehrenfreund then visited the clean room where teams are integrating Taranis, the first satellite devoted to observing and characterizing luminous, radiative and electromagnetic events occurring above large storms, and the CADMOS centre for the development of microgravity applications and space operations, which prepares, plans and monitors microgravity experiments.
On this occasion, Jean-Yves Le Gall commented: “DLR is a key partner of CNES and it is an honour to welcome my German counterpart here to the CST, one of our four centres of excellence, as we are working together more than ever to step up cooperation between our two agencies with the shared goal of building the future of space. After the success of Hayabusa2-MASCOT, a joint mission between JAXA, CNES and DLR, in October, our cooperation will shortly be making the news again with the InSight mission, a joint endeavour of NASA, CNES and DLR, which is set to land on Mars on Monday 26 November at 20:55 CET.”