October 4, 2017

France-Russia space cooperation - Sputnik launch 60th anniversary commemoration

Wednesday 4 October, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall was in Moscow alongside an audience of space dignitaries to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Sputnik’s launch at the international forum on “Sputnik: 60 Years Along the Path Of Discoveries”.

After 2016, a year that marked 50 years of French-Russian space cooperation with a series of successful missions involving the two nations, with the launch of the European ExoMars probe and its insertion into Mars orbit, two Soyuz launches from the Guiana Space Centre (CSG) and Thomas Pesquet’s arrival aboard the International Space Station for his Proxima mission, 2017 is holding all its promises with two more successful Soyuz launches from the CSG, the ongoing development of ExoMars 2020, Thomas Pesquet’s return to Earth on 2 June aboard a Soyuz spacecraft and now this international forum.

Dedicated to the historic launch of the first man-made satellite ever to orbit Earth, the forum is focused on how much we have learned since this world-changing event through our exploration of Earth, the solar system, stars, galaxies and the Universe.

On the sidelines of the forum, Jean-Yves Le Gall also had his first meeting with Sylvie Bermann, France’s new Ambassador to the Russian Federation, where he reflected on 50 years of French-Russian space cooperation, the recent finishing touches to discussions on a framework bilateral agreement to develop space science, and more especially joint efforts ahead to study Mercury with an instrument to be flown on the European Bepi-Colombo mission and to perform the life sciences experiment for the Russian Bion-M2 recoverable capsule mission.

After this event, Jean-Yves Le Gall commented: “I am delighted to see CNES involved in such major events marking Russia’s space programme. It is a great honour to be here once again to signal our two nations’ determination to continue their historic cooperation.”

Fabienne Lissak    Head of Media    Tel +33 (0)1 44 76 78 37     fabienne.lissak@cnes.fr
Pascale Bresson    Press Officer     Tel +33 (0)1 44 76 75 39    pascale.bresson@cnes.fr
Raphaël Sart    Press Officer     Tel +33 (0)1 44 76 74 51     raphael.sart@cnes.fr