May 26, 2017

France-Israel space cooperation Presentation of French-Israeli Venus satellite CNES and ISA leading efforts to curb climate change

Thursday 25 May, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall was in Tel Aviv, where in the presence of Ofir Akunis, Israel’s Minister of Science and Technology, he met Avi Blasberger, Director General of the Israel Space Agency (ISA), and Yossi Weiss, President and CEO of Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI). The meeting presented the French-Israeli VENµS satellite (Vegetation and Environment monitoring on a New Micro Satellite), a cutting-edge project developed jointly by CNES and ISA that is set to make a key contribution to environmental monitoring.

France and Israel have forged longstanding and successful ties in space, and it is in this context that CNES and ISA have jointly developed the VENµS Earth-observing satellite dedicated to monitoring vegetation and the effects of climate change. VENµS is now ready for shipping from Israel to the Guiana Space Centre, where it will be launched this August by a Vega vehicle.

The science and technology goal of VENµS is to deliver multispectral high-resolution imagery (five metres) with a revisit rate of two days of 110 sites of global scientific interest for studying vegetation growth. VENµS will thus yield a wealth of new data not only for the benefit of the scientists involved directly in the project, but also for the entire international space community. For CNES and ISA, working together on this mission offered a great chance to combine the talents of world-class engineers and scientists. The two agencies are also cooperating in the field of basic technology development, since they recently signed a new agreement to evaluate the compatibility of MEMS gyroscopes developed by the Rafael group with the space environment.

After his meeting, Jean-Yves Le Gall commented: “With the COP21 and COP22 having highlighted the key role of satellites in studying and preserving our climate, I am delighted to see our world-class space engineers working together to develop VENµS, a mission that will help the international community’s efforts to curb climate change, and to see that our cooperation is set to continue, notably on the MEMS gyroscopes.”

Contacts   

Fabienne Lissak    Head of Media           Tél. 33(0)1 44 76 78 39  fabienne.lissak@cnes.fr
Pascale Bresson  Attaché de presse    Tél. 33(0)1 44 76 75 39   pascale.bresson@cnes.fr