At the event entitled “To Advance Human and Robotic Exploration Beyond Low Earth Orbit”, organized by NASA, Jean-Pascal Le Franc stressed that space exploration could only be envisaged as an international endeavour and that it must seek to optimize technological, industrial and scientific return for all parties concerned. He also underlined that France attaches great importance to robotic solar system exploration missions such as the JUICE mission to explore Jupiter and its icy moons, and that it is pursuing its goal of contributing to future international programmes to return samples from Mars and send crewed missions back to the Moon, through the development of enabling technologies designed to serve different types of missions.
At the panel session on “How New Business Models Disrupt Space Business”, speaking alongside ESA Director General Wörner, DLR Chair Pascale Ehrenfreund, ASI President Roberto Battiston and CSA President Sylvain Laporte, Jean-Pascal Le Franc highlighted the efforts being pursued by the new Directorate of Innovation, Applications and Science (DIA) formed at CNES two years ago to keep pace in a fiercely competitive global environment. DIA’s mission is to open CNES to the outside world, nurture technological exchange and stay attuned to users’ needs. The agency is thus spurring technology spin-off as a source of disruptive innovation and driving economic development through space solutions for mobility, healthcare and smart cities. He concluded his address by emphasizing that innovation must drive everything CNES does to remain a key European and international player in space.