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French agency CNES to aid ISRO’s space station project

BENGALURU: The French national space agency National Centre for Space Studies (CNES), which is collaborating with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in the Gaganyaan project, will also partner with the latter in the development of India’s planned space station.

A CNES official, speaking on behalf of the president of CNES, Jean-Yves Le Gall, told The New Indian Express that the French agency and its industry partners have gained vast experience from the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) and its spin-offs such as rendezvous operations with the International Space Station (ISS). “French and European partners can bring the skills they have acquired in developing and operating systems and dedicated infrastructure for long-term six-month flights of European astronauts on the ISS,” he said.

While reiterating support for the Gaganyaan missions, he termed it as “the first step towards future collaboration on the development of India’s planned space station”. “We want cooperation between France and India in human spaceflight to evolve into a long-term partnership along the same lines as our 15-year collaboration on climate-monitoring satellites and 50 years of working together on launchers,” Le Gall said.

“We have confidence in ISRO’s ability to partner in human space exploration and we are ready to provide all the support we can to develop the space station. This also means India should be closely involved in the future international space station programmes that will succeed ISS, commensurate with its place in the world”, he said at an event organised by ISRO in the city recently.