France joins forces with India for ISRO’s Venus 2025 mission

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NEW DELHI: France, India’s first strategic partner in Europe, will participate in the ISRO mission to Venus, scheduled to launch in 2025, extending decades of cooperation in the space sector.
This was discussed when CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall held a virtual meeting this week with his Indian counterpart, Dr K Sivan, President of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).The VIRAL (Venus Infrared Atmospheric Gases Linker) instrument co-developed with the Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos and the LATMOS Atmosphere, Environment and Space Observation Laboratory attached to the CNRS national scientific research center has been selected by ISRO following to a call for tenders, according to a statement from the French government.

CNES will coordinate and prepare the French contribution, the first time a French payload will be sent on an Indian exploration mission, the statement added.

During their virtual meeting, the two agency managers reviewed the areas of cooperation between France and India in space.

In August 2019, CNES and ISRO committed to developing and building a constellation of satellites carrying telecommunications (AIS) and radar and optical remote sensing instruments, constituting the world’s first space system capable of tracking ships in continued. The satellites will be operated jointly by France and India to monitor ships in the Indian Ocean region.

The system will also cover a wide belt across the world, benefiting a wide range of French economic interests. With a revisiting capacity allowing to make acquisitions several times a day, it will also be able to detect oil spills and trace their origin, according to the press release.
CNES and ISRO jointly operate several climate monitoring satellites. TRISHNA, a very high precision thermal infrared observer, will soon join this fleet of Indo-French satellites. After a successful design phase led by the joint ISRO-CNES team, the satellite should now enter its development phase in the coming months. TRISHNA will provide continuous high-resolution thermal monitoring, its unmatched capabilities serving valuable applications ranging from sustainable agriculture to drought forecasting and urban heat island monitoring.

Late last year, the Argos-4 payload module that was slated to fly on the Oceansat-3 satellite – another major collaboration between the two countries – arrived in India. Oceansat-3 is essential to ensure the operational continuity of the Argos system and will strengthen the fleet of Franco-Indian climate monitoring satellites from space.

Since September 2018, CNES and ISRO have set up a working group focused on cooperation in the field of human space flights. The two nations are pooling their expertise, particularly in the fields of space medicine, monitoring the health of astronauts and survival. The first discussions focused on the training of Indian flight doctors and technical teams and on the supply of CNES flight systems.

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