U.S. and France Sign Agreements for Civil Space Cooperation

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WASHINGTON -- NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and French Space
Agency President Yannick d'Escatha signed four agreements in support
of U.S. and French space cooperation during a ceremony Thursday at
NASA Headquarters in Washington.

"The French Space Agency has a long history of participating with NASA
in Earth and space science missions," Bolden said. "I am pleased to
see this cooperation expand as we look to further engage the
international community in exploring space."

The Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales, or CNES, is the French
government agency responsible for shaping and implementing the
country's space policy in Europe. It was founded in 1961 and
headquartered in Paris. The CNES mission is to invent future space
systems, bring space technologies to maturity and guarantee France's
independent access to space.

The agreements involve missions in NASA's Science Mission Directorate
in Washington. They are:

A Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission scheduled to launch
in 2013. This NASA-led project will provide the first direct
measurements to address key scientific questions about the evolution
of the red planet. CNES will provide the Solar Wind Electron Analyzer
sensor to measure solar wind and ionospheric electrons.

A Magnetospheric MultiScale mission scheduled to launch in 2014. This
is a NASA-led, four spacecraft project. It will make measurements to
help explain the fundamental physical processes involved with
magnetic reconnection, particle acceleration and turbulence on both
the micro and meso scales in the Earth's magnetosphere. CNES will
provide portions of the instrument suite for the investigation.

A Convection Rotation and Planetary Transits mission launched in
December 2006. The project is led by CNES in conjunction with the
European Space Agency and other international partners. The agreement
involves participation by U.S. scientists in the data analysis of
planetary observations in return for NASA time for follow-up ground
observations by the Keck telescope in Mauna Kea in Hawaii.

A Surface Water and Ocean Topography mission for the study and
definition of potential cooperation on this Earth Science Decadal
Survey mission. The project could give scientists the first
comprehensive view of Earth's freshwater bodies from space and more
detailed measurements of the ocean surface than ever before, thereby
enabling improved water management and climate predictions.

NASA's Science Mission Directorate engages the nation's science
community, sponsors scientific research and develops and deploys
satellites and probes in collaboration with NASA's international
partners to answer fundamental questions requiring a view from and
into space.

The directorate studies Earth as a planet, explores the planetary
bodies of our solar system, studies the sun and its influence
throughout the solar system, and scans the universe to gauge its
expanse while searching for Earth-like planets.

For information about NASA and agency programs, visit:


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