India And France Launch Strategic Space Dialogue To Foster Deeper Space Collaboration

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New Delhi,28th June 2023: The Strategic Space Dialogue between India and France has been launched, to further strengthen their longstanding partnership in the space sector. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) announced that the first-ever India-France Strategic Space Dialogue occurred on Monday in Paris. The Indian delegation, led by Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra, engaged in discussions with Anne-Marie Descotes, the Secretary-General of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France.

The Indo-French space partnership, which has spanned nearly six decades, encompasses various areas of collaboration such as satellite launches, research, operational applications, innovation, and NewSpace ventures focused on deep space exploration. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the French National Centre for Space Studies (CNES) have joined forces in multiple fields, including space medicine, astronaut health monitoring, life support systems, radiation protection, space debris management, and personal hygiene systems.

Philippe Baptiste, the President of CNES, recently visited the ISRO headquarters in Bengaluru to explore potential avenues for collaboration, exchange knowledge, and promote innovation in the realm of space science and technology. During his discussions with ISRO Chairman S Somanath, Baptiste highlighted the longstanding partnership between the two space agencies over the past six decades, underscoring their commitment to its continuation. They also emphasized the need to address the challenges and opportunities present in the current space ecosystem.

Furthermore, India and France have plans to develop a “constellation” consisting of eight to ten satellites for maritime surveillance. This constellation will play a crucial role in monitoring sea-traffic management in the Indian Ocean region.

The Indo-French space partnership traces its roots back to 1964 when India’s space program was in its early stages, conducting experiments with sounding rockets from Thumba in Kerala. Somanath briefed Baptiste on the outcomes of India’s space sector reforms and emphasized the importance of increased industry participation from France.

Overall, the Strategic Space Dialogue between India and France marks a significant step forward in their collaborative efforts to advance space exploration and technology, while addressing the evolving challenges and opportunities in the space sector.