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  1. Un projet innovant contre la pollution orbitale

    Publishing date:

    July 5, 2005

    L’espace, bientôt aussi pollué que la Terre ? La pollution orbitale est une réalité : le nombre de « déchets » spatiaux qui circulent autour de la Terre est croissant et appelle à un « nettoyage » de l’espace. Le projet de Christophe Bonnal (Direction des Lanceurs du CNES) propose une technique originale de désorbitation des débris spatiaux et s’inscrit ainsi dans une optique de développement durable. Ce projet a été distingué en juin dernier par le Prix de l’Innovation Technologique de l’Aéro-Club de France.

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  2. PHARAO: a new kind of time machine

    Publishing date:

    June 2, 2009

    Construction of CNES’s PHARAO atomic clock is getting underway in preparation for its planned launched in 2013. Among other things, it will set out to test Einstein’s theory of relativity on the ISS.

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  3. Pictures of Venus from Venus Express

    Publishing date:

    February 14, 2006

    After successfully entering orbit around Venus on 11 April, Europe’s Venus Express probe has sent back its 1st pictures of the planet, revealing the 1st-ever views of Venus’ south pole.

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  4. Planck to look back to the dawn of the Universe

    Publishing date:

    April 20, 2006

    The European Planck satellite to be launched in 2008 aims to map the geometry and composition of the “1st light” of the Universe more precisely than ever before. But before seeking to answer such key cosmological questions, the satellite first has to withstand the extreme cold of outer space.

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  5. Toulouse takes the pulse of Jason-2

    Publishing date:

    August 6, 2008

    During the night of 3-4 July, the Jason-2 oceanography satellite reached its final operational orbit at an altitude of 1,336 km. Positioning operations were conducted from the J2CCC control centre in Toulouse, which has now completed the 1st part of its mission. We take a look behind the scenes with the teams monitoring Jason-2’s health.

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  6. Parasol paints a striking picture of Hurricane Dean

    Publishing date:

    December 27, 2006

    The first satellite image of Dean on 16 August in natural colour gives a good idea of the hurricane’s extent, but not its depth. It also highlights variations in cloud cover density, albeit imperfectly. Data in false colour will give a clearer picture.

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  7. Parasol in the eye of the storm

    Publishing date:

    February 27, 2007

    Late February, Cyclone Gamede brushed past Réunion, leaving 2 dead, 100 injured and more than 100 million euros in damage. CNES’s Parasol cloud- and aerosol-observing satellite had a ringside view of this devastating climatic event.

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  8. AMINO to probe the origins of life

    Publishing date:

    December 2, 2008

    The 3rd exobiology experiment devised by the LISA laboratory in Créteil, France, supported by CNES, lifted off on board a Russian Soyuz launcher on 26 November. Called AMINO, it aims to study the viability of certain organic molecules in space, like for example those found in comets.

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  9. Long-duration ISS mission under the watchful eye of CADMOS

    Publishing date:

    June 22, 2006

    Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off from Florida yesterday. European astronaut Thomas Reiter on board is en route to the International Space Station, where he will be spending 6 to 7 months aloft. This long-duration mission will be closely watched by the CADMOS1 centre in France, responsible for monitoring experiments on the station and communications between Reiter and teams on the ground.

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  10. Back to the Sun

    Publishing date:

    December 16, 2004

    The Sun and its impact on Earth’s climate is a topic of prime importance. The Picard project was first proposed in 1998 by the aeronomy laboratory of the French national scientific research centre (SA/CNRS). On 3 December, the CNES Board of Directors decided to authorize this project frozen since 30 April 2003, in line with the recommendations of its Science Programmes Committee. It will go live in 2008.

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  11. Solar System exploration sets its sights on Mars and Mercury

    Publishing date:

    December 7, 2004

    CNES’s board of directors has taken another step forward in its Solar System exploration plans with the decision to take part in 2 new missions. The 1st will see Europe’s Bepi-Colombo spacecraft embark on a voyage to Mercury, and the 2nd will return to Mars with the U.S. Mars Science Laboratory.

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  12. PRISMA programme seeks to acquire expertise in formation flying

    Publishing date:

    June 22, 2006

    2 satellites or more just tens of metres apart, sharing a payload and together constituting an instrument with much greater capability than a single satellite could provide. Such is the tantalizing prospect that formation flying offers for space science. CNES is today taking a major step in this direction through its commitment to the highly innovative Swedish PRISMA1 programme.

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  13. IASI acquires 1st atmospheric ammonia measurements

    Publishing date:

    July 2, 2009

    Using CNESand Eumetsat’s* IASI infrared sensor, a French-Belgium team of researchers has obtained the 1st global maps of atmospheric ammonia.

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  14. French Calipso Principal Investigator wins NASA award

    Publishing date:

    December 1, 2006

    The French-U.S. Calipso satellite completed its 1st year in orbit on 28 April. To mark the occasion, Jacques Pelon, the Principal Investigator on the French side, has been awarded NASA’s Distinguished Public Service Medal in recognition of the contribution from CNES and the French scientific research centre CNRS to this key mission.

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  15. Calipso flying high

    Publishing date:

    December 1, 2006

    Orbited 28 April, the NASA/CNES Calipso satellite is designed to study the impact of clouds and aerosols on climate change. With the data validation phase of the mission drawing to an end, its 1st series of results is set to arrive this month. Calipso’s instruments have performed remarkably well since being switched on in May. “The instruments’ signal-to-noise ratio is even better than we expected,” confirms Jacques Pelon, Principal Investigator on the French side of the mission.

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  16. 1st Pleiades telescope in sight

    Publishing date:

    August 1, 2008

    With delivery of the 1st Pleiades telescope set for 31 July, the ORFEO Earth-observation programme is advancing apace. The French-built optical component of this system will supply global imagery at resolutions down to 70 cm. Pleiades will also be a dual-use system serving civil and military applications.

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  17. Enhanced performance for data collection and search and rescue

    Publishing date:

    April 12, 2006

    One has made its name tracking ocean yachtsmen, while the other has helped to save nearly 19,000 lives since 1982. Developed and operated by a network of international partners, the Argos and Sarsat systems* have evolved continuously to meet new user requirements. Today, a new generation of instruments is being readied for launch.

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  18. Odin turns four

    Publishing date:

    February 21, 2005

    Launched on 20 February 2001, Sweden’s Odin minisatellite yesterday celebrated four years in orbit. The result of a partnership with France, Canada and Finland, Odin splits observation time equally between aeronomy and astronomy science. Initially scheduled to last two years, the Odin mission was extended for a further two years in 2003 on the basis of its excellent scientific results. The partners have now decided to continue funding for a 5th year.

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  19. Joint French-Israeli VENUS mission

    Publishing date:

    July 18, 2005

    The 1st cooperation programme undertaken by France and Israel is set to produce the VENµS Earth observation satellite, dedicated to monitoring vegetation. VENµS will be developed jointly by the Israel Space Agency (Isa) and CNES, under a memorandum of understanding between the 2 agencies.

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  20. CryoSat recovery mission confirmed for 2009

    Publishing date:

    March 15, 2006

    After the loss of CryoSat, 8 October 2005, Esa has confirmed the CryoSat recovery mission to study Earth’s cryosphere. CryoSat-2 is scheduled to launch in 2009, with CNES’s Doris* precise-positioning system on board.

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