For France’s space agency, CNES, China’s lunar landing is no wake-up call for Europe

by Peter B. de Selding

PARIS — Anyone hoping that China’s successful landing on the hidden side of the Moon would catalyze interest in lunar exploration in Europe — perhaps even igniting a space race — will not find much support in Europe’s largest national space agency, France’s CNES.

The French space-science community has long been clear that an agency with limited resources should focus on its highest priorities. In France, that’s Mars, not the Moon. France is now a regular junior partner to NASA in Mars exploration, contributing payload instruments.

CNES . . .

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