Center national d'études spatiales

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FranceFrance Center national d'études spatiales
- CNES -
legal form EPIC
Consist since December 19, 1961
Headquarters Paris
President Jean-Yves Le Gall
Employee 2389 (2014)

The Center national d'études spatiales (CNES; German National Center for Space Research ) is the French space agency . The organization was founded in 1961. In 1975, the national missile program was stopped in favor of the European Ariane missile.


At the end of the 1940s, French scientists, with the support of some captured German colleagues, began building the A9, the successor to the A4 / V2 . This project was never realized, but led to the development of the Véronique series, the first rocket of which was launched in 1950.

In parallel, France developed some ballistic missiles named after gemstones.

In 1961, the newly founded CNES decided to develop a launch vehicle for satellites. This resulted in Diamant , a further development of Saphir , which was supplemented by a third stage. In 1965, the first satellite was successfully launched from the now decommissioned Hammaguir spaceport in Algeria . The small satellite A-1, also called " Asterix ", reached Earth orbit .

In the late 1960s, France also built the improved Diamant-B, and in 1969 the Center Spatial Guyanais near Kourou ( French Guiana ). Diamant-B took off for the first time in March 1970 from the new spaceport . Further starts followed up to 1975. France eventually abandoned its national launcher in favor of the European Ariane project.


In addition to the spaceport in Kourou , the CNES operates other ground stations to monitor Ariane flights:


In addition to civil research, the CNES is also responsible for military research and operates, for example, the Syracuse program for military communications satellites . Since 1993 it has been formally subordinate to both the French Ministry of Research and the Ministry of Defense.

Jean-Yves Le Gall has been President of CNES since April 3, 2013.

The CNES is a full member of the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS).

Web links

Commons : CNES  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Jean-Yves Le Gall - President - CNES. CNES, accessed February 8, 2014 (French).
  2. CNES: Effectif moyen en équivalent temps plein (ETP). (PDF) In: Rapport d'activité 2014. June 1, 2015, p. 45 , accessed on November 24, 2015 (French / English, converted to full-time positions).
  3. Sparrow, Giles., Evening, Bernhard ,: Adventure space travel: [50 years of expeditions into space] . Dorling Kindersley, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-8310-1089-9 .
  4. Les moyens de télémesure. CNES, accessed February 14, 2014 (French).