The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and the French National Space Agency (CNES) have joined their hands in developing autonomous navigation system for the upcoming rovers to be sent to Mars, Moon and other planets and, also the aero-braking technologies for planetary exploration.
As per the reports, CNES will give support to ISRO for developing the navigation system for its future lunar rovers. ISRO and CNES have also decided to work together in order to develop models to study the atmosphere of Mars and Venus, as informed by the Indian space agency. A CNES official said, “Venus is under-explored compared to Mars. This is why we want to concentrate on Venus. ISRO has confirmed this priority for them. Discussions are also going on for the future Indian Mars mission.” The agencies want to create inflatable systems for Venus exploration.
The two space agency made this decision almost after a month of agreement between them for enhanced space cooperation. ISRO chairman Dr. K Sivan told to the Times of India that they have agreed to collaborate with French space agency CNES for interplanetary missions. He further informed that the vision document signed in March was an umbrella agreement and based on their specific requirement for the inter-planetary mission, they can have further interaction further interaction with CNES for joint collaboration.
The ISRO chairman has however made it clear that there is no involvement of any foreign space agencies for its Chandrayaan-2 mission which is scheduled to be launched in October. According to ISRO, it has started shortlisting some of the scientific payloads that will be carried onboard the MOM-2 mission. “Currently, there is no plan for collaboration with CNES for this mission. However, we may consider joint cooperation with CNES for the MOM-2 mission later,” informed Dr. Sivan.
The CNES officials have said that they would be providing onboard scientific instruments to ISRO for future interplanetary missions to the Moon, Mars, and asteroids and also they would be actively involved in defining scientific goals and preparatory studies for future interplanetary missions of ISRO. This is not the first time that India and France have joined their hands for space missions. The Indo-French collaboration has been continuing since six decades. France has been helping India in developing advanced cryogenic engine and also launching the heavy satellites of ISRO.