Interview: Head of world astronautical federation expects to cooperate with China in tackling climate change

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-28 15:34:08|Editor: An
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by Xu Haijing, Zhao Bo

ADELAIDE, Australia, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- Jean-Yves Le Gall, president of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), said that he expected to strengthen cooperation with China in the field of tackling climate change.

Le Gall, who also serves as the president of the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES), the French space agency, has been a strong advocate for the utilization of space technologies to meet the challenges of climate change.

In an interview with Xinhua on Wednesday during the 68th International Astronautical Congress (IAC2017) held in Adelaide, Australia, Le Gall said a very important topic that CNES and China can share is climate change.

"Our cooperation with China makes me very confident that we are going to succeed in tackling climate change."

Currently, cooperation between CNES and CNSA (China National space Administration) is centred on two major satellite missions. One oceanography satellite, CFOSat, is expected to be launched in 2018 and dedicated to the study of ocean surface wind and wave conditions. The other SVOM (Space-based multi-band astronomical Variable Objects Monitor) is expected to be launched in 2021 to observe and characterize gamma-ray bursts, the highest-energy phenomena in the universe.

Space oceanography is key to understanding climate, which is a domain of shared interest for both China and France. During former French President Francois Hollande's visit to China in November 2015, the two countries signed an agreement to establish a framework for long-term cooperation on climate change studies.

CNES and CNSA have also agreed to step up exchanges between the French and Chinese research communities, notably to exploit data from CFOSat, and to focus their efforts on derived applications, particularly for ocean weather forecasting.

France is also going to provide a medical device which will be used in China's future space station to monitor the health of cosmonauts on board.

As IAF President, Le Gall said he is very much impressed by China's achievements in the field of science and technology, particularly in space.

"China's aerospace is very successful, You have a number of big projects, (missions) to the Moon, (observation satellites) to the low Earth orbit satellites, telecommunication satellites, and (rocket) launchings. They are all very successful," Le Gall said.

"I'm impressed by the dynamism of Chinas aerospace in many different fields of space activities. China is definitely one of the biggest players in the world."