Tuesday 8 June, CNES Chairman & CEO Philippe Baptiste met his opposite number Dmitry Rogozin, Director General of Roscosmos, the Russian federal space agency, to discuss operating Russia’s Soyuz launcher from the Guiana Space Centre beyond 2023 and space exploration.
Philippe Baptiste underlined the excellent relationship that France and Russia have forged in space, of which the partnership to operate Soyuz in French Guiana is a fine illustration. CNES’s Chairman & CEO indicated that France needed to look closely at the future operation of Soyuz in Guiana. He and Mr Rogozin agreed to pursue discussions on this matter through the civil space working group under the French-Russian trust and security agenda.
Roscosmos’s Director General also presented and invited CNES to contribute to the Chinese-Russian project to establish an International Lunar Research Station (ILRS).
Philippe Baptiste thanked his counterpart for his cooperation proposals, noting that France’s space exploration efforts were chiefly conducted within the framework of the European Space Agency (ESA), whose upcoming Ministerial Council meeting in 2022 will be seeking to define Europe’s ambitions in the field of lunar exploration. CNES’s Chairman & CEO proposed that technical discussions be engaged to gain a clearer picture of the ambition and outlines, notably from a programmatic perspective, of the Chinese-Russian proposal.