India-France : Joint Issue 2015
A Miniature Sheet consisting of 2 nos. of commemorative postage stamp on the 50 years of Space Cooperation between France and India : Joint Satellite Mission – Megha-Tropiques and SARAL (Satellite with ARGOS and ALTIKA) :
Issued by India
Issued on Apr 10, 2015
Issued for : Department of Posts is happy to release a set of two stamps and miniature sheet on the theme of India–France : 50 Years of Space Cooperation featuring one stamp each on the two satellites Megha-Tropiques and SARAL.
Stamp/Miniature Sheet/FDC : Sankha Samant
Cancellation : Alka Sharma
Type : Miniature Sheet, Mint Condition
Colour : Multi colour
Denomination : 2500 & 500 Paise
Stamps Printed : 0.9 Million
Miniature Sheet : 0.1 Million
Printing Process : Wet Offset
Printer : Security Printing Press, Hyderabad
- India and France heralded a new era of bilateral cooperation with the establishment of formal diplomatic relations in 1947. Since then, the extent and scope of cooperation between the two countries has grown steadily and the bilateral relations between the two countries have now expanded in many areas ranging from trade and investment, culture, science & technology and education to space cooperation.
- Space cooperation between India and France has now turned 50, making it India’s oldest and most important collaboration with a European nation. Exchanges at the start of the 1960s between what would later become the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the fledgling French National Space Agency (CNES) laid the foundations of a low-key but sustained relationship between the two space agencies. This partnership for and through space has often served as a bridgehead of the French-Indian strategic partnership.
- The first French-Indian space cooperation agreement signed in May 1964 covered licenses to build Belier and Centaure sounding rockets in India, with the accompanying transfer of solid-propulsion technologies. Under the patronage of the United Nations and overseen by a CNES team led by Jacques Blamont, 50 French rockets were built locally and launched from 1965 onwards at the Thumba equatorial launch site in the State of Kerala. ISRO is CNES’s number two partner after NASA in terms of volume of activity.
- Since the 1990s, CNES and ISRO have been collaborating together and the collective efforts have resulted in the launch of space missions – Megha-Tropiques in 2011 and SARAL in 2013.
- Megha-Tropiques is an Indo-French Joint Satellite Mission launched on October 12, 2011 for studying the water cycle and energy exchanges in the tropics. The main objective of this mission is to understand the life cycle of convective systems that influence the tropical weather and climate and their role in associated energy and moisture budget of the atmosphere in tropical regions.
- Megha-Tropiques will provide scientific data on the contribution of the water cycle to the tropical atmosphere, with information on condensed water in clouds, water vapour in the atmosphere, precipitation, and evaporation. With its circular orbit inclined 20 degrees to the equator, the Megha-Tropiques is a unique satellite for climate research that should also aid scientists seeking to refine prediction models. The satellite carries four payloads out of which one is jointly developed by CNES and ISRO, two by ISRO and one procured by Italy. The satellite and launch vehicle PSLV are manufactured and owned by ISRO.
- The Satellite with ARGOS and ALTIKA (SARAL) is a joint Indo-French satellite mission launched on 25th February, 2013 for oceanographic studies. SARAL is designed to perform altimetric measurements designed to study ocean circulation and sea surface elevation and has three payloads – two developed by CNES and one by ISRO. The satellite and launch vehicle PSLV are manufactured and owned by ISRO.
- SARAL data products will be useful for operational as well as research user communities in many fields like marine meteorology and sea state forecasting, operational oceanography, seasonal forecasting, climate monitoring, ocean, earth system and climate research, continental ice studies, protection of biodiversity, management and protection of marine ecosystem, environmental monitoring, and improvement of maritime security.
- The CNES-ISRO partnership in space relies on mutual trust built over half a century. The two space missions of Megha-Tropiques and SARAL are stellar examples of the joint endeavour of the two countries to study and intensively observe ocean systems and climate systems and to use the available data for framing policies and programmes aimed to mitigate the vagaries of nature and to harness its positive energy towards enhancing agricultural and industrial output and to secure livelihood of millions dependant on surrounding ecosystems for their living.
- Text : Based on the material available on ISRO website and internet.