ISRO is scheduled to launch its Venus mission in 2025 and France will participate in it, French space agency CNES said on September 30. The VIRAL (Venus Infrared Atmospheric Gases Linker) instrument co-developed with the Russian federal space agency Roscosmos and the LATMOS atmospheres, environments and space observations laboratory attached to the French national scientific research centre CNRS has been selected by the ISRO after a request for proposals, it said in a statement.
ISRO chairman K Sivan and CNES president Jean-Yves Le Gall held talks and reviewed the areas driving cooperation between France and India in space. "In the domain of space exploration, France will be taking part in ISRO's mission to Venus, scheduled to launch in 2025. CNES will coordinate and prepare the French contribution, the first time a French payload will be flown on an Indian exploration mission," CNES said in a statement.
However, there was no comment from ISRO. After the Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalyaan) and Moon missions Chandrayaan-1 and 2, ISRO has set its eyes on Venus for carrying out its inter-planetary mission.
France and India share a robust collaboration in arena of the space. It is one of the three nations with whom India collaborates in the strategic sectors of nuclear, space and defence — the other two being the US and Russia. In March 2018, the two countries also issued a 'Joint Vision for Space Cooperation'.
India and France are also working on ISRO's human space mission Gaganyaan project, which aims to send three Indians to space by 2022. Since September 2018, CNES and ISRO have set up a working group focused on cooperation in the field of human spaceflight, the French agency said.