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India, France Holds Strategic Space Dialogue

The Strategic Space Dialogue between India and France was held to strengthen their nearly six-decade-old partnership in the sector.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs, the first-ever India-France Strategic Space Dialogue was held on Monday in Paris.

“The inaugural India-France Strategic Space Dialogue was held in Paris on 26 June 2023. The Indian side was led by Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra, and the French side by Secretary-General, Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Anne-Marie Descotes,” the statement read.

The Indian Space Research Organization and the French National Centre for Space Studies have collaborated in personal hygiene systems, radiation protection, life support, astronaut health monitoring, and space debris prevention.

To stimulate innovation in space research and technology, CNES President Philippe Baptiste visited the ISRO headquarters in Bengaluru earlier this month to look into prospective areas of collaboration.

Baptiste recalled the six decades of cooperation between the two space agencies in his conversations with ISRO Chairman S Somanath. He stressed their steadfast commitment to taking it forward and addressing the opportunities and challenges in the current space ecosystem.

India and France will develop eight to ten satellites as part of a “constellation” for maritime surveillance to track water traffic management in the Indian Ocean.

The Indo-French space alliance was established in 1964 when India was only beginning its space program and testing sounding rockets from Thumba in Kerala. Somanath had briefed Baptiste on the results of the space sector reforms initiated by India and the urge for more involvement of enterprises in France.