With a view to engaging closer collaboration, CNES and BELSPO have signed a memorandum under which Belgium will contribute to the development of the Myriade Evolutions spacecraft bus.
The Myriade Evolutions programme aims to develop a modular bus for satellites in the 350-400-kg class, to be launched between 2015 and 2025, for science, defence and industrial applications. As with the first-generation Myriade bus, the key advantages of the programme are low cost, fast-track scheduling and the ability to accommodate a broad range of missions.
The first bus will be built early in 2017 and used for MERLIN, a French-German satellite developed by CNES and the German space agency DLR to measure concentrations of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, in Earth’s atmosphere.
Belgium has been investing in space for more than 30 years and is a historic partner with which France has accomplished many joint successes. The cooperation begun in 1979 in Earth observation with the SPOT series of satellites is continuing today through the Pleiades programme and since 2011 with CSO-MUSIS. In the field of space science, Belgium also contributed to the development of the CoRoT and Picard satellites.
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