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India, France To Develop A Constellation Of Satellites; Space Flight Surgeons' Training Discussed Too

French space agency CNES, in a statement released to the media said that an agreement it's president Jean-Yves Le Gall and Isro chairman K Sivan had signed earlier signed has now been made official and that work to start development and production of a constellation of satellites will begin. India and France also discussed possibilities of the latter training future flight surgeons who'll cater to India's astronauts.

"On the occasion of the state visit to France of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, an agreement signed by CNES president Jean-Yves Le Gall and Sivan K, chairman, Isro, was officially announced to start development and production of a constellation of satellites on which studies have been underway since French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to India in March 2018," the statement read.

This constellation carrying telecommunications and radar and optical remote-sensing instruments will constitute the first space-based system in the world capable of tracking ships continuously.

"The satellites will be operated jointly by France and India to monitor ships in the Indian Ocean. The system will cover a wide belt around the globe, benefiting a broad range of French economic interests. With a revisit capability making it possible to task acquisitions several times a day, it will also be able to detect oil slicks and trace their origin," the statement added.

This new step, CNES says, is a further boost for the already significant and wide-ranging space partnership between France and India. The two space agencies have already developed, built and are jointly operating several satellites that are serving precious applications for food security (monsoon forecasting), water resource management and climate research.

"An infrared climate-monitoring satellite is in the study phase and India’s next oceanography satellite will be carrying a CNES Argos instrument into orbit in 2020," the statement added.

Macron and Modi also discussed options of training flight surgeons who will be responsible for India’s future astronauts in France.

After the official announcement, Gall said: “CNES’s and ISRO’s teams are both very proud to see, in the presence of President Macron and Prime Minister Modi, this new step forward in our cooperation in space. Our technologies today occupy an unprecedented place in the world economy and it is through large-scale international partnership projects like these that we will promote and develop our excellence.”

Source : The Times Of India

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