CNES activities focus on five strategic areas covering all the expertise needed to conceive and implement French space policy


Independent access to space is an issue of national sovereignty, guaranteed by the full range of European launch vehicles. CNES is continuing to operate European launch vehicles for large or small payloads, scientific research, Earth observation, telecommunications and defense. CNES also positions the satellites which it then operates

At the same time, Europe is reinventing Ariane through the Ariane 6 program. This new launcher, designed by teams at CNES, the European Space Agency and in the space industry, will be more suitable for government and commercial satellite launches thanks to its two versions, Ariane 62 and Ariane 64, its upper stage re-ignition capability and reduced operating costs. 

Décollage Ariane
Ariane 5 - Décollage depuis Ibis, le 27/01/2016


Space exploration seeks answers to the basic questions of humankind on the origins of the solar system, galaxies and life itself.

2014 will obviously be remembered as the year that saw the global triumph of Rosetta and the successful landing of Philae on the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko. With the data collected, a major breakthrough is expected in our knowledge of the origins of life. 

Rosetta et Philae

Rosetta, mission spatiale de l'ESA, a pour ambition d'analyser un des plus anciens vestiges solaires, la comète Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Le CNES joue un rôle clé dans Philae, l'atterrisseur de la sonde Rosetta.


Our planet is under constant scrutiny by satellites that observe it, study its atmosphere and provide crucial meteorological, oceanographic and altimetry data.



Satellites play a vital role in such areas as broadband telecommunications, positioning, environmental data collection or search and rescue.



Very-high-resolution optical observation, electronic intelligence, ultra-secure telecommunications and space situational awareness all help to assure citizens’ peace and security.