ISRO also signed, today (January 9, 2002), a cooperative agreement with the
European Space Agency (ESA) that renews the arrangements for cooperation
between the two agencies in the peaceful uses of outer space for mutual
benefit. Dr K Kasturirangan, Chairman, ISRO, signed the cooperative
agreement on behalf of ISRO while Mr Jean-Pol Poncelet, Director, Strategy
and External Relations of ESA signed the agreement on behalf of Prof Antonio
Rodota, Director General of ESA. This umbrella agreement enables both ISRO
and ESA to carry out programmes of common interest in space science and
applications including communication, remote sensing for monitoring the
environment and corresponding data processing, meteorology and navigation,
and life and material sciences under microgravity conditions.

It may be noted that ISRO and ESA have a long-standing cooperation. ISRO’s
first experimental communication satellite (APPLE) was launched on board
ESA’s Ariane Launch Vehicle in 1981. Ariane has also launched several INSATs
of ISRO. Many ISRO scientists have received training in ESA’s laboratories.
ISRO receives microwave remote sensing data from ESA’s ERS-1 and ERS-2
satellites which is used for several applications. ISRO has launched ESA’s
PROBA satellite on board its PSLV in October 2001.

The cooperative agreement will renew these cooperative activities.