Isro strikes deal with French space agency on Gaganyaan

Isro strikes deal with French space agency on Gaganyaan

India's first manned space mission, Gaganyaan, now has a French connection. Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) and the French space agency, CNES, on Thursday signed an agreement to collaborate and formed a working group for the ambitious project.

As part of this deal, Isro will get access to space hospital facilities in Toulouse, France. The two agencies will share their expertise in astronaut health monitoring, space medicine, life support, radiation protection, space debris protection and personal hygiene systems, according to CNES president, Jean-Yves Le Gall.

The Indo-French working group, announced at the Bengaluru Space Expo launch here, follows the commitment made by French President Emmanuel Macron during his State visit to India earlier, this year. Under the Gaganyaan mission, three Indians are to be sent to space before 2022.

Future Indian astronauts could now be trained at the specialised centres in France such as the CADMOS Centre for development of microgravity applications and space operations or the MEDES space clinic. Gall said the agreement will also entail the exchange of specialised personnel.

Isro has proposed to conduct experiments on microgravity through its astronauts. The Indo-French collaboration is already active in critical areas of climate monitoring. On the agenda are a fleet of satellites focused on research and operational applications and innovation.

The two agencies have also proposed to extend their collaboration to projects on Mars, Venus and asteroids. CNES, said Gall, would share with Isro its experience gained through the first French spaceflight to Thomas Pesquet's Proxima mission. The French agency would also learn from Isro's innovative developments in the area of crew transport.