July 13, 2015

Space cooperation between France and Mexico Agreement on SVOM (astronomy) and GNSS (navigation)

On Monday 13 July, on the occasion of the state visit to France of Mr. Enrique Peña Nieto, President of the United Mexican States, the French space centre (CNES), Aix-Marseille University, the French national scientific research centre (CNRS), the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and the Mexican National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT) together signed a letter of intent to develop cooperation in the field of space on the SVOM and GNSS programmes.

The letter of intent was signed in Paris today at the House of Latin America, by CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall, Aix-Marseille University President Yvon Berland, CNRS President Alain Fuchs, UNAM Rector José Narro Robles, and CONACYT Director General Enrique Cabrero Mendoza, and testifies to the desire of France and Mexico to strengthen their already very fruitful collaboration in the field of space.

The first cooperative framework concerns the French-Chinese astronomy mission known as SVOM—the Space Variable Objects Monitor—whose key objective is the detection and study of powerful stellar explosions known as gamma-ray bursts. The partners will work together regarding the installation of VHF antennas in Mexico and of the ground station and Ground Follow-Up Telescope, under the guidance of France whose role will be crucial to the mission.

The other section of the agreement covers the Global Navigation Satellite System or GNSS network, with the partners pledging to further develop their involvement and work together, mainly through the installation of ground stations on Mexican soil.  

After the signing ceremony, Jean-Yves Le Gall said: “We have an ever-stronger relationship with Mexico, as demonstrated by the agreement that I signed last month with Dr Javier Mendieta Jiménez, Director General of the Mexican Space Agency. I wish to express my heartfelt thanks to everyone involved in the letter of intent signed today. I am delighted with this agreement, not least because it gives the French-Chinese SVOM Mission an even more international dimension, which is one of the keys to success in the field of space.

Pascale Bresson    Tel: +33 (0)1 44 76 75 39     pascale.bresson@cnes.fr
Alain Delrieu    Tel: +33 (0)1 44 76 74 04    alain.delrieu@cnes.fr
Julien Watelet    Tel: +33 (0)1 44 76 78 37     julien.watelet@cnes.fr