Monday 11 June in Haifa, in the presence of Hélène Le Gal, France’s Ambassador to Israel, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall was made Doctor Honoris Causa of Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology. This award is a testament to the high level of space cooperation between France and Israel, which has seen several high points during Jean-Yves Le Gall’s tenure at the helm of the agency, with his election in Jerusalem in October 2015 as President of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), the launch in August 2017 of the VENµS vegetation-monitoring satellite developed by CNES and the Israel Space Agency (ISA) and, last week in Paris, CNES and ISA’s commitment to tackle climate change hailed by French President Emmanuel Macron and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
In this respect, a number of events are being held in both countries for France-Israel Season 2018, culminating with the scientific symposium to present the results from VENµS in Israel in November. On this occasion, new information will be revealed about plant growth and dynamics to bring new insights into how climate change is impacting vegetation. The symposium will also provide the opportunity for a status check on the future joint CNES-ISA C3IEL mission to study clouds and how climate change is affecting them.
During his visit to Israel, Jean-Yves Le Gall also met pupils from Mekif Mayan Youd Bet de Rishon LeZion high school, where he outlined how CNES is engaging younger generations. In the presence of Peretz Vazan, Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Science, Technology and Space, Avi Blasberger, Director General of ISA, and Haim Rousseau, President of non-profit association Tassyeda, he talked with more than 200 pupils to whom he presented diplomas for their work on a research project to identify materials and phenomena on Earth with a view to optimizing use of natural resources.
At the end of this day devoted to France-Israel space cooperation, Jean-Yves Le Gall concluded: “This honour that Technion has bestowed on me is a tribute to France and Israel’s exemplary cooperation in space and to the extraordinary commitment of the men and women working together every day to make it a success, whom I respect, thank and congratulate. On a more personal note, 30 years after my first visit to Israel and three years after my election in Jerusalem as IAF President, I am deeply grateful and thrilled to have received this award in Haifa. To all my Israeli friends, I say thank you and bravo!”