French astrophysicist Jacques Blamont conferred the Padma Shri

On the occasion of the 66th Republic Day Celebrations on 26th January 2015, Prof. Jacques Blamont was conferred the Padma Shri, one of highest civilian honours of India, for his distinguished service in the field of science.

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Prof. Jacques Blamont

Born in 1926, member of the Académie des Sciences de l’Institut de France and the Indian National Science Academy, Prof. Blamont is one of the main architects of the French space programme. One of his notable posts was that of the first Director of Science and Technology of the newly-formed French space agency in 1962, the CNES.

Prof. Blamont devoted his energies to nurturing space research in France and fostering international cooperation in this field, particularly with India. He was instrumental in initiating the Indo-French space cooperation between the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and the CNES in 1964.

He took part in November 1963 in the launch of the first rocket from India and was invited, 40 years later, to the celebrations held in Thiruvananthapuram to mark the 40 years of Indian Space Programme (Frontline).

Prof. Blamont, who became a close friend of Vikram Sarabhai - considered as the “father” of India’s space programme – is also the recipient of the 1994 Vikram Sarabhai Medal of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).

The conferral of the Padma Shri is a fresh testimony of the vigorous Indo-French cooperation on space, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.


15 May 1964 first protocol agreement on space between France and India
1965 transfer of the technology of the “Centaure” rocket
1972 transfer of the technology of the “Viking” rocket engine
1998 Space defined as a cornerstone of the Indo-French Strategic Partnership
30 September 2008 signature of the current agreement on Space
October 2011 launch of the Indo-French satellite “Megha-Tropiques”
February 2013 launch of the Indo-French satellite “SARAL”

Last modified on 28/01/2015

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