India, France look forward to another satellite launch

New Delhi: Fresh from the successful launch of the joint space mission for weather observation, India and France today eyed another milestone of a new satellite dedicated to environment monitoring.

At the bilateral talks here, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and his French counterpart Alain Juppe welcomed the successful launch of Megha-Tropiques satellite for research on climate and weather systems.

“The forthcoming launch of SARAL, a joint satellite to study sea surface altitude would be another milestone in space cooperation,” a joint statement issued after the discussions said here.

Saral would help ocean scientists gather accurate data on the rise in the sea level which could threaten the low lying and coastal areas of the country.

The joint statement said that India and France encouraged Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the French National Space Agency (CNES) to pursue further cooperation in Earth System Science and Climate within the framework of a memorandum of understanding signed in December last year and to explore new fields of cooperation in the future.

ISRO`s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle successfully launched the Megha Tropiques satellite on October 12 to study the water cycle and energy exchanges in the tropical region covering 20 deg on either side of the equator.