A French space agency, established in 1961. It is a leading member of the European Space Agency (ESA) and developed the Ariane rocket. It takes a major part in space probes, such as providing instruments for the Rosetta orbiter and lander launched on 2 March 2004, including spectrometers, optical cameras, and plasma analysers. CNES proposes space policies to the French government and carries out various programmes in collaboration with industry and research and defence organizations.
CNES headquarters are in Paris. Divisions include the Launch Division (DLA), in the Parisian suburb of Eury, responsible for space transport; the Toulouse Space Centre (CST), in charge of programme preparations and operational systems; and the Centre Spatial Guyanais (CSG), near Kourou in French Guiana, which operates the launch base there for the ESA.
Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.