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MEDES, the French Institute for Space Medicine and Physiology, is an Economic Interest Group, i.e. a private, non-profit institution created jointly by the Toulouse University Hospital and the French Space Agency (CNES). A second University Hospital and several French universities are also members.

Since its creation in 1989, its principal missions have been to maintain and help develop French competence in space medicine and physiology and to promote the application of space research in the field of health.

MEDES’s activities can be divided into 3 main sectors:

  • support in space medicine and physiology for space exploration,
  • clinical research,
  • e-health and support for epidemiological monitoring.

The activities of these 3 sectors are closely linked and integrated with one another.

All these activities are carried out under the terms of service contracts, with no operating subsidies.


MEDES in a few figures


Institute established


Space Clinic built


Space Clinic commissioned


“Full-time equivalent” employees

Sites where MEDES teams work


 Spin-off companies (TTSA and MEDESSAT*)


 EIG members (2 founding members and 6 active members)

* TTSA in 2000: IT services specialist in the health sector - MEDESSAT in 2005: company that markets remote medical assistance systems.


Did you know?

The name MEDES comes from the contraction of the terms MEDicine and ESpace (“Space” in French). The Institute’s core business in a single word!