CNES (Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales) is the public establishment responsible for proposing French space policy to the Government and implementing it in Europe. It designs and puts satellites in orbit and invents the space systems of tomorrow; it promotes the emergence of new services that are useful in everyday life. CNES, created in 1961, initiates major space projects, launchers and satellites and is the natural partner of industry for pushing innovation. CNES has nearly 2,500 employees, men and women who are passionate about space, which opens up infinite, innovative fields of application; it intervenes in five areas: the Ariane launcher, scientific research, observation, telecommunications and defence. CNES is a major player in technological innovation, economic development and industrial policy in France. It also establishes scientific partnerships and is involved in numerous international projects. France, represented by CNES, is the main contributor to the European Space Agency (ESA).