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French Space Research: Celebrating 50 Years

French Space Research: Celebrating 50 Years

Published on November 25, 2011
President Sarkozy visits the National Center for Space Research.

Toulouse, November 22 2011.

On Tuesday, November 22, President Sarkozy traveled to Toulouse to visit the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), or National Center for Space Research, where scientists made presentations of the center’s current and developing projects. This year marks the 50th anniversary of French space research.

Founded in 1961 under President Charles de Gaulle, CNES is the government agency responsible for shaping and implementing France’s space policy in Europe. Its task is to invent the space systems of the future, bring space technologies to maturity and guarantee France’s independent access to space.

President Sarkozy at the National Center for Space Research.(photo L. Blevennec)

CNES is a pivotal player in Europe’s space program and a major source of initiatives and proposals that aim to maintain France and Europe’s competitive edge. It conceives and executes space programs with its partners in the scientific community and industry and is closely involved in many international cooperation programs—the key to any far-reaching space policy.

The agency’s more-than 2,400-strong workforce constitutes an exceptional pool of talent, with some 1,800 engineers and executives, 35% of whom are women.

Through its ability to innovate and its forward-looking vision, CNES is helping to foster new technologies that will benefit society as a whole, focusing on:

- access to space
- civil applications of space
- sustainable development
- science and technology research
- security and defense

For more information on the CNES Office in the United States, please visit,379.html.

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