ISRO signs co-operative agreement with European Space Agency

ISRO has signed a cooperative agreement with the European Space Agency (ESA). This renews the arrangements for cooperation between the two agencies in the peaceful uses of outer space for mutual benefit. ISRO Chairman Dr K Kasturirangan, chairman signed the cooperative agreement on behalf of ISRO while Jean-Pol Poncelet, director, strategy and external relations of ESA signed the agreement on behalf of Prof Antonio Rodota, director general of ESA.

The umbrella agreement enables ISRO and ESA to carry out programmes of common interest in space science and applications including communication, remote sensing for monitoring the environment and corresponding data processing, meteorology and navigation, and life and material sciences under microgravity conditions.

The agreement was signed at ISRO headquarters in Bangalore. ISRO and ESA have a long-standing cooperation. ISRO's first experimental communication satellite (APPLE) was launched on board ESA's Ariane Launch Vehicle in 1981. Ariane has also launched several INSATs of ISRO. Many ISRO scientists have received training in ESA's laboratories. ISRO receives microwave remote sensing data from ESA's ERS-1 and ERS-2 satellites which is used for several applications. ISRO has launched ESA's PROBA satellite on board its PSLV in October 2001. The cooperative agreement will renew these activities.

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