A delegate at the MEDEF Summer 2015 University, Jean-Yves Le Gall took part in a conference and debate session on Thursday 27 August, entitled â€śJourney to the Future : The Promise of Scienceâ€ť, alongside Axelle Lemaire, the French Secretary of State for Digital Affairs. CNESâ€™s President described how space contributes to major technological developments, illustrating this with three of our space programmeâ€™s key achievements.
He firstly recalled the fabulous adventure of Rosetta-Philae, which has had the whole world on the edge of its seats for more than a year. He explained that its first scientific results, published in Science magazine early this month, contained their fair share of surprises, not least on the origins of life on Earth and that data from the mission would continue to be used for years to come.
He went on to talk about spaceâ€™s key role in climate research. Of the 50 essential climate variables used to measure climate change, 26 can only be observed from space. It is satellites that enable us to assess climate change, and satellites that will enable us to ensure the commitments made at COP21 are respected.
Finally, he described in detail NASAâ€™s forthcoming Mars mission, InSight. France has a key role in this mission, by supplying the SEIS seismometer to study the core of Mars. This will enable us to work out the history of the planet and everything that may have influenced its evolution. Most of all, it will provide an answer to the key issue surrounding the disappearance of its oceans and any possible life they may have harboured.
In his conclusion, Jean-Yves Le Gall recalled the success of last Decemberâ€™s Ministerial Conference in Luxembourg where, on French initiative, Europe decided to pursue its key role in the space adventure, notably by approving the Ariane 6 programme. Â Â
He added : â€śIn rising to all these challenges, France and Europe have an enviable position, built by outstanding companies and unfailing state support. The remarkable resources of our economy enable us to stay ahead of the race in many fields, thanks to our technological and industrial excellence. This can be measured concretely in economic terms, with highly qualified jobs as a natural result.â€ť
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