Speaking at the session on ‘What vision for Europe in Space?’, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall detailed the reasons for the success of the French and European space programme to which the agency is contributing. He underlined the importance of a genuine political commitment at national level, at ESA and the European Commission, as shown at the last ESA Council meeting, which endorsed foundational decisions for launchers and space exploration, and by the budget proposed by the European Commission for its next Multiyear Financial Framework (MFF), significantly up on the current budget.
He then pointed to the many contributions being made to the space ecosystem. Among these, he stressed the expertise and modernity of space agencies and industry know-how at big manufacturers, SMEs, mid-tier firms and start-ups. He also mentioned the recently formed CosmiCapital investment fund launched at CNES’s initiative, and world-class universities and research laboratories.
CNES’s President also offered responses to the challenges of globalization like the digital revolution and the greatly reduced cost of getting into space made possible by miniaturization. He explained how in recent years the agency has focused on innovation in technologies, methods and ways of working, on the new ecosystem emerging around climate research, notably through the inception of the Space Climate Observatory (SCO), and on the ability of space exploration missions like Thomas Pesquet’s and the forthcoming landing of MASCOT to put space in the public eye.
In conclusion, Jean-Yves Le Gall commented: “I believe Europe has a great future ahead of it in space. With this space ecosystem constantly evolving and transforming itself to meet ever increasing new challenges, we must build on our past efforts and successes while pursuing our international collaborations to pool programmes and budgets in order to stay ahead.”
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