Friday 23 March, in the presence of Sylvie Bermann, France’s Ambassador to Russia, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall and Igor Komarov, Head of Roscosmos, the Russian federal space agency, met at the French Embassy in Moscow to review the status of French-Russian cooperation.
They began by hailing the successes the two agencies have accomplished together, notably the orbiting on 9 March from the Guiana Space Centre of four O3b satellites by a Soyuz ST-B launcher. They also pointed to CNES and Roscosmos’ participation alongside French and Russian ministers in the Space working group at the 23rd session of the French-Russian Economic, Financial, Industrial and Commercial Council (CEFIC) in Moscow.
The two agency heads also discussed the framework CNES-Roscosmos agreement currently in preparation, which is especially important as it will lay the foundation for new areas of cooperation in space and life sciences, forming the cornerstone of French-Russian space cooperation for the years ahead.
They then turned their attention to current and future projects, in particular Bion. In 2013, a recoverable capsule carrying a French experiment was launched to study the effects of exposing living organisms to the conditions of space. New experiments using the Bion-M2 capsule and MTB-2 instrument (Mouse Telemetry for Bion-M2) developed by CNES are planned for launch in 2019. Relations between the two agencies could also be stepped up through a new partnership in the field of environmental research and climate science.
After today’s meeting, Jean-Yves Le Gall commented: “I had a most useful meeting with Igor Komarov. Following the many high points for our partnership in recent years, after celebrations to mark 50 years of space cooperation in 2016 and France’s participation in the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik in 2017, today our two nations are, more than ever, working closely together and combining their expertise going forward to tackle climate change, one of the key challenges facing us in the years ahead.”