France-United States space cooperation : A new step forward after the successful launch of Jason-3

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Jean-Yves Le Gall was in Washington D.C. yesterday to meet his counterpart Charles Bolden and review ongoing space cooperation initiatives between France and the United States after the successful launch of the new flagship French-U.S. Jason-3 satellite that is now set to play a key role monitoring the oceans in support of space efforts engaged at the COP21 climate conference.

He then gave a talk to an audience of 50 U.S. space dignitaries, chiefly from national agencies, and a delegation of employees from Congress, in which he outlined CNES’s activities, France’s role in shaping Europe’s space programme and the space sector’s contribution to employment in France. He also stressed that the French civil space budget is second only to the United States at €37 per capita (as against €50) and underlined CNES’s capacity to forge concrete and ambitious cooperative ties with space players, making it the space agency with the most international partnerships in the world today.

Jean-Yves Le Gall took this opportunity to hail the excellence of French-U.S. space cooperation and reminded the audience that the United States is France’s oldest partner in space. He then emphasized the importance of innovation at CNES, pointing to the Rosetta-Philae mission that was the first ever to land on a comet, the future launches of the MicroCarb and MERLIN satellites that will be the first capable of measuring greenhouse gas emissions locally, and the ongoing development of Ariane 6, NeoSat and IASI-NG as just some examples of the programmes that confirm that innovation is driving everything that CNES does.

Concluding his talk, Jean-Yves Le Gall commented:
“After the successful launch of Jason-3, it was a great pleasure for me to talk with Charles Bolden, one of the chief artisans of the successful French-U.S. partnership in space, the longest and most important ongoing international partnership in which CNES is involved. This visit also gave me the opportunity to present our current and future activities and to give a glimpse of what CNES is planning in the years ahead to an audience of agency representatives and congressional employees, looking to a future in which innovation will be our watchword.”