Jean-Yves Le Gall began the hearing by underlining the government’s stimulus plan encompassing space to support research and innovation and maintain critical skills and competitiveness in the sector, where CNES acts as operator on behalf of its three overseeing ministries (Economy & Finance, Higher Education, Research & Innovation, and Armed Forces).
CNES’s President then addressed the agency’s medium-term priorities. Taking his cue from the report of the High Council for the Evaluation of Research and Higher Education (HCERES), he emphasized the rich and continuing strategic dialogue between CNES and industry, as well as the important role of the CoSpace government-industry space coordination committee in sustaining concertation between the government, the agency and industry. He also detailed the three main lines of action guiding CNES’s efforts in pursuit of the national space policy: space as a driver of economic growth, strategic independence and sustainable development. These lines of action will be enshrined in the agency’s future Objectives and Performance Contract for 2021-2025.
Concerning the international arena, after outlining advances in the current European space policy and the space partnership project of the Horizon Europe programme, Jean-Yves Le Gall pointed to the fact that France is a prime player in Europe in the domain of space traffic management (STM). To avert the consequences of the build-up in objects orbiting Earth, France decided in 2008 to legislate with its own space operations act (FSOA). However, this initiative will only produce the desired results if all stakeholders around the globe agree to pull together in the same direction. Besides the EU SST programme led by a consortium of seven nations with funding from the European Union, CNES is backing the new LTS 2.0 process proposed by the United Nations and seeking to instil closer operational space traffic coordination (STC) with the United States.
Lastly, Jean-Yves Le Gall hailed the commitment of U.S. President Elect Joe Biden to tackling climate change and his intention to rejoin the Paris Agreement on climate. This should have a positive impact on space-based Earth-observation programmes and the international coordination CNES has instituted through the Space Climate Observatory (SCO) under the framework of the One Planet Summit (OPS).