PARIS, July 4 (Xinhua) -- The dynamic partnership of China and France in the field of aerospace is an icon of the scientific and technological cooperation between the two countries, president of the French National Centre for Space Studies (CNES) Jean-Yves Le Gall said.
Sino-French partnership in the field of space develops in an exemplary way, and space is always in the agenda of each high-level meeting between the leaders of the two countries, Le Gall told Xinhua in a recent interview here.
China and France are long-time partners in the field of aerospace with an intergovernmental agreement signed in 1997, Le Gall said, adding that he would meet the director of the China National Space Administration (CNSA) in China on Monday.
According to Le Gall, cooperation between the CNES and the CNSA concentrates on two great missions, the China France Oceanography Satellite (CFOSAT) which is to be launched in 2018, and the Space-based multi-band astronomical Variable Objects Monitor (SVOM) which is to be launched in 2021.
With several projects of common interests, the two countries have complementary aerospace programs, which allow them to work together, Le Gall said. France brings its expertise in the development of aerospace instruments, while China offers its platforms to carry the instrument and launching.
For him, the development of China's aerospace sector in the past decades has been rather impressive. China's aerospace programs, which used to be largely related to applications, are being transformed into more complex scientific projects such as the moon explorer Yutu and the development of different climate applications.
Le Gall said there are three challenges in today's aerospace industry, namely innovation, climate and exploration of science.
France and China have already started their cooperation through CFOSAT and SVOM to address the latter two domains, he added.
Le Gall stressed the two countries should look at "how we can work on innovation" in order to have satellites that are more efficient but less expensive.
He reaffirmed that an international cooperation is absolutely a must to make more progress in space activities.
"I'm convinced that the next great steps will be taken through international cooperation," Le Gall said.