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  1. Co-orbital asteroid leaves Earth's orbit

    Date de publication:

    22 Juin 2006

    10 June, a small asteroid left Earth’s orbit to pursue its solitary course around the Sun. A unique opportunity to learn more about these unusual miniature moons, also known as co-orbitals.

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  2. An innovative project to mitigate orbital pollution

    Date de publication:

    5 Juillet 2005

    Is space set to become as polluted as Earth? Orbital pollution is a reality: the amount of debris orbiting round Earth is growing, calling for a “ clean-up ” of near-Earth space. The project developed by Christophe Bonnal (CNES Launchers Directorate) seeks to contribute to sustainable development of near-Earth space by using an innovative technique to deorbit the largest items of debris. Last June, the project was honoured by the Aeroclub de France with its Prize for Technological Innovation.

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  3. Syracuse is in orbit

    Date de publication:

    10 Octobre 2005

    Ariane scores dual mission success : the launcher placed two payloads into geostationary transfer orbit of which the French Ministry of Defence’s Syracuse 3A military telecommunications satellite. This new satellite will support high-data-rate transmissions over very long distances from increasingly compact terminals. CNES is responsible for conducting the tricky satellite positioning phase on behalf of Alcatel Alenia Space.

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  4. MRO blazes trail for future Mars missions

    Date de publication:

    15 Mars 2006

    Nasa’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) reached its destination 10 March, 7 months after launch, and is now in position to gradually descend into a low science orbit around the Red Planet. Its mission to pave the way for future rover and crewed missions will end late in 2010.

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  5. Calipso ready to go

    Date de publication:

    19 Avril 2006

    Launch day is fast approaching for Calipso! Friday 21 April, the French-U.S. satellite will be orbited from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, ending a wait of several months after a series of postponements.

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  6. Ultralight structures set to sail away in 2010- Sailing back to Earth

    Date de publication:

    27 Juin 2007

    In 2011, after it has completed its mission to investigate the equivalence principle, the Microscope satellite will become another spent piece of space debris in an already cluttered low-Earth orbit.

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  7. CNES keeps a lookout for collisions in space

    Date de publication:

    19 Février 2009

    Last week’s collision between the Kosmos and Iridium satellites was an exceptionally rare event. But with the growing field of orbital debris now encircling the planet, the ability to predict and avert such occurrences is today a key issue. CNES is at the forefront of efforts in this respect, keeping a constant watch over 15 satellites in low-Earth orbit and performing collision-avoidance manoeuvres when necessary.

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  8. CNES wins award for satellite collision risk management

    Date de publication:

    23 Juin 2008

    16 May, CNES engineer François Laporte, based at the Toulouse Space Centre, won the Best Paper of Symposium award at Space Ops 2008 for his contribution on operational management of collision risks for CNES satellites in low-Earth orbit.

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  9. Calipso soars skyward

    Date de publication:

    3 Mai 2006

    After a series of delays, the operational teams were growing impatient for the day they could announce the successful launch of the Calipso satellite and its 1st in-orbit operations. The sense of relief was tangible, following months of waiting that kept the teams on tenterhooks until the last few seconds…

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  10. Jules Verne embarks on an extraordinary journey

    Date de publication:

    25 Février 2008

    Sunday 9 March, on its 37th launch—the first in its ES-ATV configuration—Ariane 5 successfully placed the European Jules Verne ATV into elliptical Earth orbit. In 3 weeks’ time, it will be approaching and docking with the International Space Station (ISS).

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  11. HELIOS II, a new generation of military satellites

    Date de publication:

    14 Octobre 2004

    CNES is gearing up for a very special kind of launch in December, when Ariane 5 will be lofting 6 satellites into orbit at once—a first for Europe’s launcher. Among the passengers will be the Helios IIA satellite, designed to give the Helios military surveillance system enhanced resolution and data access capability.

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  12. Topex/Poseidon takes its final curtain call

    Date de publication:

    5 Janvier 2006

    The curtain has come down on the Topex/Poseidon satellite altimetry mission. After nearly 13 years in orbit studying ocean phenomena, the joint French-U.S. satellite has now handed over to its successor Jason-1. During its career, Topex/Poseidon acquired a huge volume of data and achieved a giant leap forward in satellite altimetry.

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  13. Exobiology: from the Cosmos to the laboratory

    Date de publication:

    6 Décembre 2007

    After 12 days in orbit, the Foton capsule landed back on Earth in Kazakhstan 26 September with its 43 scientific experiments intact. French exobiologists have since started working in the laboratory on samples returned from the European experiments on board.

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  14. IASI signals a change in weather forecasting

    Date de publication:

    12 Avril 2006

    This July, a Soyuz launcher will orbit the 1st of 3 European MetOp1 weather satellites. MetOp-A will be carrying the IASI2 instrument developed by CNES in partnership with Eumetsat3 to bring meteorologists new atmospheric measurements of unmatched quality. The satellite is now preparing to leave EADS Astrium’s facility in Toulouse, France, for its launch site.

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  15. Rosetta calls in on Earth flyby

    Date de publication:

    3 Mars 2005

    One year after launch from Kourou, French Guiana, the Rosetta probe will be just 2,000 km from Earth at the end of this week. So long to cover such a short distance? In fact, the probe is returning to our neighbourhood, having already completed one orbital revolution of the Sun. This first flyby close to Earth will boost Rosetta’s chase toward its target comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

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  16. Ariane turns 25

    Date de publication:

    4 Janvier 2005

    24 December 1979 at 17:14 and 38 seconds, the first Ariane launcher fired its engines. For the first time in the history of the space adventure, a three-stage-to-orbit launcher, capable of carrying satellites weighing nearly 1 tonne, successfully lifted off from Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Emotions ran high among those watching this landmark event in the history of space. But the road to success wasn’t all straight and smooth, since the launch had to be scrubbed twice before the big day, seriously sapping teams’ morale.

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  17. Ariane 5 ECA joins the family

    Date de publication:

    14 Février 2005

    “The largest and latest in the Ariane generation has now joined the family.” Those were the first words of CNES President Yannick d’Escatha on the announcement of the successful launch of Ariane 5 ECA. The qualification launch on Saturday 12 February was a complete success, sending the XTar-Eur and Sloshsat satellites into orbit—a success that had been eagerly awaited in all quarters of the space community. Ariane 5 ECA's lift-off. 12 February 2005. Crédits : CNES/ESA/Arianespace

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  18. Jason-2 all set for the off

    Date de publication:

    18 Juin 2008

    The Jason-2 oceanography satellite is now in the home straight and set for launch Friday 20 June. Before reaching final orbit, the satellite will go through a sequence of steps just after launch and during the beginning-of-life phase of its mission. Jason-2 teams are watching launch preparations advance in California with much relief after a series of setbacks over the last 2 weeks. First, successive delays in the launch of the GLAST satellite pushed back the departure of Jason-2, since the same ground teams were preparing both satellites; and then poor weather prevented the satellite from being mated with the launcher as planned.

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  19. Ariane 5 rockets aloft

    Date de publication:

    14 Février 2006

    Saturday 27 May, Ariane 5 ECA lifted off from the Guiana Space Centre with a record-breaking 8.2-tonne payload of 2 telecommunications satellites. See the final days leading up to launch here in pictures, from the launch rehearsal to lift-off ...

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  20. Giove blazes the trail for Galileo

    Date de publication:

    13 Décembre 2005

    Go, go Galileo! The Giove-A satellite has arrived in Baikonur ready for launch 28 December onboard Soyouz-Fregat. Giove-A is the 1st step in implementing Europe’s Galileo satellite navigation system, which will ultimately comprise a constellation of 30 satellites set to enter full operational service in 2010.

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