Friday 14 February, in the presence of His Excellency Mr Pierre Levy, France’s Ambassador to the Russian Federation, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall and Dmitry Rogozin, Director General of the Russian federal space agency Roscosmos, met at the French Embassy in Moscow for a status check on the development of the two nations’ cooperation in space.
The two agency heads exchanged their impressions with regard to the latest successes of this partnership, with the orbiting by a Soyuz launcher on 18 December 2019 from the Guiana Space Centre (CSG) of four payloads: CosmoSkyMed Second Generation for the Italian space agency ASI and the Italian Ministry of Defence, CHEOPS for the European Space Agency (ESA), ANGELS and EyeSat for CNES and OPS-SAT for the operator Tyvak, on behalf of its customer ESA. Soyuz thus accomplished its 23rd mission from the CSG, its third launch in 2019 and the ninth flight of the year in all from the base.
Mr Le Gall and Mr Rogozin then turned their attention to ongoing and future projects, particularly in the field of life sciences to prepare for deep space exploration missions with the joint Bion-M2/MTB 2 plan to study the combined biological effects of the space environment and returning to Earth on the body and certain organs (at system, cell and molecular level). They also addressed French scientific confinement experiments to be conducted for SIRIUS-20 (Scientific International Research in Unique Terrestrial Station) in collaboration with IMBP, the Russian space medicine institute. Continued cooperation between CNES and IMBP in physiology with Cardiomed, the first phase of which was recently completed on 3 February, was also discussed with a view to engaging further studies, notably on cerebral circulation, myocardial remodelling and paravertebral discs.
The meeting concluded by looking ahead to future cooperation in various domains, such as the fight against climate change with the deployment of the Space Climate Observatory (SCO), launch vehicles through Soyuz at the CSG and space exploration, in particular to conduct experiments from the lunar surface.