Formed in 1972, 3AF1 is the renowned French aeronautical and astronautical association working to advance and promote aerospace science and technology in close partnership with the aviation, space and high-tech industries, as well as with government departments and agencies. It is a learned society offering a unique channel for disseminating new ideas.
3AF’s annual awards ceremony took place on Wednesday 23 November in the presence of 3AF’s President Michel Scheller and Laurent Collet-Billon, Head of the French defence procurement agency DGA. CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall received on behalf of the agency the Space Grand Prize for the huge success of the Rosetta-Philae cometary science mission, while CNES engineer Clément Baron was awarded the Young Employees Prize for his very innovative work on radars.
In his thank-you speech, Jean-Yves Le Gall said: “Rosetta and Philae have touched the hearts of millions around the world. Indeed, this is the first time in a very long while that a space mission has so captured the public’s imagination. This project has taken France and Europe to the outer reaches of the solar system in their quest for the origins of life. I am delighted to accept this prize that rewards the work our community has accomplished over nearly 30 years in Europe, by ESA, by research scientists and industry, and by CNES’s team at the Toulouse Space Centre, where 20 people watched over Philae and set it down on the surface of comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, a quite amazing feat. I would therefore like to dedicate this award to them and share it with everyone who contributed to this great human space adventure. I am also delighted to see that CNES has its sights set firmly on innovation and inspiration with the Young Employees Prize presented to Clément Baron, who after joining the agency in 2010 has been doing extremely innovative work on radars, notably the tracking radars at the Guiana Space Centre and other technological marvels which I’m sure will help us to accomplish new successes in the future.”
1 Association Aéronautique et Astronautique de France