The 66th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Jerusalem came to a close on Friday 16 October with the election of CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall as the next President of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), for a three-year term starting in September 2016. This year’s congress, a key event in the world space calendar, has been a great success, notably for CNES with numerous agreements signed, high numbers of visitors to its booth and excellent technical presentations by the agency’s scientists and engineers. It also gave CNES the opportunity to sign a first Research and Technology agreement with the Israel Space Agency (ISA).
CNES was at the 66th IAC, a key event in the space calendar that it attends every year, which attracted more than 2,000 representatives from the space community, including scientists, academics, space agency officials and industry partners, to Jerusalem, from Monday 12 to Friday 16 October.
In the middle of the exhibition area, CNES’s booth symbolized France’s presence at IAC, with a giant print of Jerusalem and its outskirts taken by French Earth-observation satellites, mockups of Ariane 5, Pleiades and Jason-3, a film retracing French-Israeli space cooperation and a fresco illustrating CNES’s five areas of activity: Ariane, Sciences, Observation, Telecommunications and Defence. The focal point of the exhibition was the French-Israeli VENµS mission (Vegetation and Environment monitoring on a New MicroSatellite). VENµS aims to observe changes in vegetation at high spatial resolution every two days and pave the way for future Copernicus services, as well as to flight-qualify the Israeli Hall Effect Thruster (IHET). VENµS is set to be orbited in the coming months on a Vega launcher from the Guiana Space Centre
Alongside the exhibition, CNES’s experts, closely involved in IAF’s committees, took part in many round table discussions and symposia. Their record 14 presentations were highly commended, covering a diverse range of topics including the innovations of the VENµS mission, Rosetta, soon set to celebrate the first anniversary of Philae’s landing on the core of its target comet, and the de-orbiting of the ATV-5.
Jean-Yves Le Gall also took the opportunity to meet the President and the Director General of ISA to review progress on the VENµS programme and sign a first Research and Technology agreement. Named Therme-Ormadd, this agreement will …