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    ISRO and France Working on Third Joint Space Mission

    India and France are working on their third joint satellite mission, even as the bilateral space collaboration is entering into multiple domains, including the human spaceflight program, ISRO Chairman K Sivan said. Sivan, also Secretary in the Department of Space, said many French companies are keen to tap into opportunities thrown up by recent reforms injected into the space sector by the Government.

    France is the biggest partner of India in space,” he said at the DST (Department of Science and Technology) Golden Jubilee Discunlocking India’s space potential – geospatial data & mapping”, an event presented on the virtual mode by the National Council for Science and Technology Communication and Vigyan Prasar on Friday.

    According to ISRO officials, ISRO and French space agency CNES (Centre national d’études spatiales) have undertaken two joint missions “Megha-Tropiques”, which was launched in 2011, and “Saral-Altika” in 2013.

    Officials said ISRO and CNES have completed the feasibility study to realize the earth observation satellite mission with a thermal infrared imager, TRISHNA (Thermal Infrared Imaging Satellite for High-resolution Natural resource Assessment), and are working towards finalizing an implementing arrangement for the joint development.

    India is also working with France on joint experiments and accommodation of scientific instruments in space missions.

    Indo-French space collaboration is expanding into multiple domains including space exploration and human space flight program.

    ISRO officials said the two space agencies have also finalized all interface control documents for accommodating CNES’s “ARGOS” instrument in the ISROs OCEANSAT-3 satellite.

    ARGOS instrument has been delivered to Bengaluru for integration with the satellite.

    Discussions on establishing ‘NavIC’ (an independent regional navigation satellite system developed and maintained by India) reference station in France and CNES ‘Scintillation’ receivers in India are also progressing well.

    ISRO-CNES HSP (Human Space Programme) Working Group had a number of discussions on medical aspects of human spaceflight and finalizing an implementation arrangement to formalize cooperation in the field of space medicine, it was noted.

    With the recent reforms initiated by the government in the space sector, the Indo-French space cooperation is expected to grow further involving industries, academia, and research institutes.

    Many French companies want to “make use of” reforms in the sector and they are going to involve.

    So, the reforms would not only strengthen space cooperation at the government-to-government level but industry-to-industry interaction is going to get a “fresh relook” in the changing environment.

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