India and France were working on their third joint satellite mission as the bilateral space collaboration is entering into multiple domains, including the human spaceflight program, officials said Saturday.
The information was shared by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman Kailasavadivoo Sivan at the department of science and technology (DST) golden jubilee discourse on unlocking India's space potential -- geospatial data and mapping.The event was held on Friday virtually by the National Council for Science and Technology Communication.
Sivan said many French companies are keen to tap into opportunities thrown up by recent reforms injected into the space sector by the government.
According to ISRO officials, ISRO and French space agency CNES ( the Centre National detudes spatiales) have undertaken two joint missions "Megha-Tropiques" which was launched in 2011, and "Saral-Altika" in 2013.
"France is the biggest partner of India in space", Sivan said. "Currently, we are working for the third one (mission)."
Officials said ISRO and CNES have completed the feasibility study to realise the earth observation satellite mission with thermal infrared imager, TRISHNA (Thermal infraRed Imaging Satellite for High resolution Natural resource Assessment) and are working towards finalising an implementing arrangement for the joint development.
Sivan said India is also working with France on joint experiments and accommodation of scientific instruments in space missions."Indo-French space collaboration is expanding into multiple domains including space exploration and human space flight program," he said.