Space cooperation [fr]
France and India are united by a longstanding and unparalleled partnership for peaceful uses of outer space. Space cooperation and collaboration have profoundly marked the relationship between the two countries, which have emerged as major space nations. Space cooperation between France and India began in the 1960s when India purchased licenses for the Centaure and Bélier launch complexes as well as French technical assistance for building the Sriharikota launch pad. The first cooperation agreement was signed in 1977. A strategic partnership in space, among others, was agreed on in 1998. In 2008, an Indo-French MoU was signed for exploration and the peaceful use of space in order to set up joint research programmes, instruments and satellites. Since the 1990s, CNES, the French space agency, and ISRO have been collaborating closely, which resulted in the Megha-Tropiques joint initiative. The first Indo-French satellite for climate studies, Megha-Tropiques was launched on 12th October 2011 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. A second satellite for oceanographic studies, SARAL, was launched on 25th February 2013.
On the occasion of the 2018 State visit to India of the President of the French Republic, France and India concluded the Joint Vision for Space Cooperation. Its various aspects include the societal impact of space technologies, space surveillance and situation assessment, response to global challenges such as climate change, and development of technologies for human exploration of the universe.
- 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 pillar of the 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”.
- June 2014: launch of SPOT-7 satellite by India’s PSLV.