Founded in 1961, the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) is the government agency responsible for shaping and implementing France's space policy in Europe.
Its task is to invent the space systems of the future, bring space technologies to maturity and guarantee France's independent access to space.
CNES is a pivotal player in Europe's space programme, and a major source of initiatives and proposals that aim to maintain France and Europe's competitive edge.
It conceives and executes space programmes with its partners in the scientific community and industry, and is closely involved in many international cooperation programmes.
For more information on the French Space Agency, visit www.cnes.fr.
The series of SPOT (Satellite Pour l'Observation de la Terre) missions carry high-resolution, optical imaging systems operating from space. These missions are part of CNES' Earth observation programme. The SPOT family of satellites has been providing high quality images of our planet since 1986. In this time more than 25 million images have been acquired.
Image ©CNES/Ducros David 2002
The Pléiades system is a dual-use Earth observation system which provides optical images that meet the most stringent requirements for both defence and civil applications. With its submetric resolution and remarkable agility, the Pléiades system provides single and stereo images that are particularly useful for managing crisis situations, as well as for cartography and urban planning.
Image ©CNES/Mira Production 2012