Europe and India - Space issues
Galileo Framework Agreement initialed at last EU-India Summit in
September 2005 (see below the note);
ESA has signed a cooperation agreement with India on Chandrayaan-1,
India’s lunar mission expected to be launched in 2007-2008 by PSLV.
Signature ESA DG / ISRO chairman on 27 June 2005 in Bangalore;
Objective of the agreement is for flying European instruments (3) on board
India’s first scientific mission to moon;
EUMETSAT has a cooperation agreement with ISRO on the access and
exchange of meteorological information. In 1997, EUMETSAT placed a
redundant satellite over the Indian Ocean and provides direct access for
India to its information. EUMETSAT recently decided to extend this service
and is currently moving another satellite over India;
Bilateral cooperation already exist between national space agencies such
as DLR (IRS data distribution) and CNES (Megha-Tropique mission);
India participated in the International Conference on Space organised by
the EC in February 2005;
India is a member of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and party to
the International Charter on “Space and Major Disasters”;
Discussions between ESA and ISRO continue on exchange of IRS P6
data with Envisat data within the ESA Third Party Missions.
The most promising areas for EC-India cooperation are linked to space
applications: navigation (Galileo), Earth observation (GMES activities) and
satellite telecommunications. Space sciences may also be of mutual
The Indian Space Research Organisation is planning to launch 10-12
satellites in the coming four years: the satellites which have been approved by
the Government and for which work is currently on are - communication
satellites INSAT-4A, 4B and 4C, communication satellites GSAT-4 and GSAT-
5, advanced satellite for cartographic mapping applications Cartosat-2,
microwave remote sensing satellite with all weather capability radar imaging
satellite, satellite for oceanography studies and services Oceansat-2.
Remote Sensing satellite for natural resources management applications
(Resourcesat-2), development and qualification of re-entry and recovery
technologies for future space transportation system and conduct of Micro-
Gravity Research (SRE-1and 2), advanced satellite for meteorological
observations (INSAT-3D), Indo-French Joint mission for tropical climatic
research (Megha-Tropiques) are some of the others.
Additional info concerns the visit of EC DG-ENTR Director, Paul Weissenberg,
to space authorities in India perhaps in March 2006.
Note - [The Sixth EU-India Summit held on 07 September 2005 has mentioned space
cooperation between India and the EU in its Joint Action Plan.1 The implementation
See The India-EU Strategic Partnership: Joint Action Plan, 07 September 2005.
of the Joint Action Plan is now managed through the EC-India Joint Commission and
an ad hoc Steering Group.
The Joint Action Plan states:
“Both India and Europe are at the cutting-edge of research in the field of Space
Technology, and there is a wide scope for cooperation. With a view to promote
collaboration and provide an appropriate environment for fruitful cooperation in the
space sector, both parties will:
Support further collaboration and dialogue between Indian Space Research
Organisation (ISRO), Department of Space (DOS) and the European Space
Agency (ESA) and the European Commission, in areas such as earth
observation and remote sensing for monitoring of natural resources and
environment, communications, meteorology, navigation, life and material
sciences under micro gravity conditions, space exploration, space sciences and
any other area relevant to our respective Space programmes;
Jointly identify specific new areas/projects of cooperation between the
respective space agencies for further discussion/implementation through the
existing mechanism for technical cooperation”
In addition, pursuant to the EC/ESA Framework Agreement,2 a Joint Secretariat has
been set-up to guide the evolution of the European Space Policy and its related
Programme.3 In this endeavour, the Space Council has divided tasks and
responsibilities between ESA and the Commission. The two EU-led flagship
programmes are Galileo and GMES.
In addition, the Space Council has invited the ESA and EC Executives to determine
the international cooperation segment of the European Space Programme. The recent
EU-India Summit has been a key opportunity for DG-ENTR to secure a policy with
respect to India in particular.]
EC/ESA Framework Agreement, COM(2004) 85 final/2, 24 March 2002.
The ESP, on the basis of orientations approved by Member States Ministers, has been defined as “the
common, inclusive and flexible programmatic basis for the activities of ESA, EU and their respective
Member States.” See Orientations from the Second Space Council, 7 June 2005, para. 2.