The fledgling Australian Space Agency has signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate with its French counterpart to help develop their respective space programmes. The agreement was signed by the Head of the Australian Space Agency, Dr Megan Clark AC, and Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) President, Dr Jean-Yves Le Gall.
The agreement will see the two countries join forces to develop their space capabilities, particularly in the areas of space operations, space science, Earth observation, positioning system and communications.
According to Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews: “This strategic association between the Australian and French governments’ space agencies will help our nations’ universities, research institutions, businesses and communities work together across a range of fields.
“It builds on an existing track record of cooperation between CNES and Australia, and allows both countries to embark on an ambitious partnership,” she said.
CNES is already working with UNSW Canberra Space for the development of the Australian National Concurrent Design Facility (ANCDF), and for studies towards the development of satellite technologies with advanced sensors and onboard processing and intelligence.
According to Megan Clark, the agreement is the first of many international space collaborations.
“Civil space engagement initiatives like this with the French Space Agency will explore advanced space technology and applications used in earth observation and remote sensing with high-altitude balloons and satellites, space operations and joint missions,” she said.
“The joint projects coming out of today’s agreement will ultimately bring growth and jobs both in Australia and in France,” added CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall.