French-U.S. space cooperation: CNES President and NASA Administrator resolve to pursue and develop their close relationship

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Tuesday 17 July, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall met NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine in London, where the two agency heads took the opportunity to review the latest developments in the space sector in the United States, France and Europe and to underline the close relationship between the two nations.

During President Emmanuel Macron’s state visit to the United States this spring, France and the United States reaffirmed their joint commitment with the signature on 25 April at NASA Headquarters of a five-year extension to the intergovernmental agreement between the two nations. CNES and NASA are pursuing and stepping up their joint efforts, notably in exploration of planets and the universe, as well as in surveying Earth’s oceans and atmosphere.

In London today, CNES and NASA thus hailed the signature of this agreement, which confirms at the highest level the importance attached to this bilateral cooperation, among the most longstanding and the most successful in the domain of space in terms of agreements signed and funds invested in joint space programmes outside Europe. This cooperation illustrates the two nations’ complementary competencies in developing science programmes and launching an impressive series of exploration missions.

Jean-Yves Le Gall pointed in particular to the InSight mission launched on 5 May, which is carrying the French SEIS seismometer set to ‘take the pulse’ of Mars. This mission is a great testament to the scientific and technological successes the two agencies have accomplished together. He also indicated that events will be organized in Paris and Toulouse to mark the landing of InSight on Mars on 26 November. The two agency heads also looked forward to the launch of Parker Solar Probe on August, another mission illustrating the excellence of French-U.S. cooperation that is expected to revolutionize our knowledge of the Sun.

After the meeting, Jean-Yves Le Gall commented: “I am delighted to note the exceptional partnership relations that CNES is sustaining and developing with NASA. With Jim Bridenstine, we are building an excellent relationship that will enable us to achieve great new successes together, notably in space exploration and science.”