France-Israel space cooperation CNES at the 13th Ilan Ramon Conference First vegetation-monitoring results from VENμS New partnership on cloud science

Jean-Yves Le Gall, Président du CNES Jean-Yves Le Gall, Président du CNES

CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall spoke at the 13th Ilan Ramon International Space Conference held at the University of Tel Aviv on Sunday 28 and Monday 29 January, on the theme of ‘Remote Sensing in the New Era’.

He took this opportunity to meet with the Israel Space Agency’s President, Isaac Ben Israel, and its Director General, Avi Blasberger, to:
– Review the first remarkable results from the French-Israeli VENμS satellite orbited on 1 August 2017 by a Vega launcher from the Guiana Space Centre, which are enabling scientists to correlate research on vegetation and climate change.
– Sign a statement of intent to develop a new joint mission to study cloud tops and help to deliver unique data supporting climate science.


In their address, Jean-Yves Le Gall and Avi Blasberger detailed the success of VENμS, underlining that it is a world first delivering new insights to help better understand and model how climate change and human activities are impacting land surfaces. They also announced the decision to engage a follow-on to VENμS, based on the ‘quick and cheap’ mission study that CNES and ISA have been pursuing over the last two years, and to focus on cloud science.

Jean-Yves Le Gall then warmly thanked ISA for its unwavering efforts to tackle climate change and its endorsement of and contribution to a new Space Climate Observatory, one of the 12 commitments made at the One Planet Summit held in Paris last 12 December at the initiative of President Emmanuel Macron. He also emphasized the fantastic opportunity offered by the France-Israel year planned from June to November this year to raise the profile of French-Israeli space cooperation and especially VENμS. Several key events will be taking place in France and in Israel, in particular the Toulouse Space Show from 26-28 June.

In conclusion, he commented: “It is a great honour and pleasure for me to take part every year in the Ilan Ramon Conference. This year, the success of VENμS has lent an extra dimension to this event and our already longstanding and fruitful partnership with Israel is set to step up a gear with the prospect of a new mission dedicated to cloud science and tackling climate change, which truly is one of the major challenges of the 21st century.”

Israël Science Info