World-renowned technology expertise

Frédérique Vidal
Minister for Higher Education, Research and Innovation line

« Research is one of the pillars of the French space sector helping to further its international influence,and the science community today relies extensively on space data in numerous fields of investigation. We still have many new chapters in space research to write together »


Through the eyes of

Mars 2020

NASA’s Perseverance rover will land on Mars on 18 February 2021, the first step in an international odyssey that ultimately seeks to bring samples back to Earth. We are proud to be along for the ride with our SuperCam instrument, set to observe and analyse the surface of the rover’s Jezero Crater survey site.

Closer to the Sun

Every seven months, Solar Orbiter approaches the Sun. Through the spacecraft’s RPW instrument, CNES is intimately involved in this European mission set to observe the Sun’s poles for the first time ever—an amazing feat of technology to beam back unique measurements of the solar environment.


James Webb

Space Telescope

JWST will begin its 1.5-million-kilometre voyage from French Guiana in 2021 atop an Ariane 5 launcher. With its 20-metre sunshield and 18 mirrors, this incredible collaboration with NASA, ESA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is ready to revolutionize space astronomy.



Water everywhere

With SWOT (Surface Water and Ocean Topography), we will soon be able to observe rivers and lakes with unprecedented accuracy. This satellite is built around our impressive KaRIn radar interferometer and will be sent into orbit in 2022—a key collaboration with our partners the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

A changing world viewed

from space

A changing world viewed from space with Sentinel-6A now in orbit, there are eight French and European satellites surveying Earth’s environment. After helping to conceive the Copernicus constellation, we now intend to play an equally central role mining its precious data.

CNES digest 2021