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ESA and CNES sign space aid charter

The European Space Agency, ESA, and the French Space Agency, CNES, have signed a charter to promote cooperation among space system in the event of major natural or technological disasters. The charter was signed by Antonio Rodotà, ESA's Director General, and Gérard Brachet, Di...

The European Space Agency, ESA, and the French Space Agency, CNES, have signed a charter to promote cooperation among space system in the event of major natural or technological disasters. The charter was signed by Antonio Rodotà, ESA's Director General, and Gérard Brachet, Director General of CNES. The two agencies have pledged to support ground teams managing emergency situations when disasters like floods, earthquakes or toxic spills strike. They will make available Earth observation, positioning, telecommunications and TV broadcasting space systems, ground facilities and archive image data. In particular, data from ESA's Earth observation satellites - ERS-2 and in the near future Envisat - and from the SPOT-1, 2, 4 and soon 5 satellites operated by CNES will be made available. 'The charter will prove at world level a coherent scheme for access to data from a wide variety of space systems. It aims to strengthen international cooperation and is open to all satellite operators around the globe,' say ESA and CNES. The partners have undertaken to develop this cooperative agreement on a voluntary basis with no exchange of funds.