France will partner with India for its next Mars mission that is expected to roll out in 2018. French President Francois Hollande’s visit to India as the Chief Guest for Republic Day celebrations, led to the two countries signing 14 important agreements for work in different sectors. One of them was a letter of intent signed by the French space agency, Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), with ISRO. According to reports, a lander on the surface of the planet, and a rover are being planned for the second Indian Mars mission.
The two countries reached an agreement on Monday.
“India’s Mangalyaan is very impressive, a good example of Make in India and of low-cost space exploration… After India’s Mars orbiter, the next step has to be a lander. A lander on Mars is not easy, but it will be interesting to undertake, “Jean-Yves Le Gall, president of CNES told NDTV.
The 450-crore Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), also called Mangalyaan, was launched on November 5, 2013.
ISRO and CNES already have two joint satellite missions:
- Megha-Tropiques: For studying the water cycle in tropical atmosphere to understand climate change.
- SARAL: To study ocean circulation and sea surface elevation.
Other than the Mars mission, the two countries also signed agreements for a future earth observation satellite, and to place French Argos-4 data collection payload in Oceansat-3, which may be launched in 2018.