a Summer 2020, on the occasion of a ministerial reshuffle, for the first time in sixty years, oversight of the French space sector was transferred from the Ministry of Research and Innovation to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
For the National Center for Space Studies (CNES), this relocation is an unprecedented change. Responsible for the implementation of public space programs, an essential contributor to the development of the Launcher (Ariane) and innovation, CNES has always been a major player in scientific research aimed at understanding and protecting our planet, exploring the universe or laws. is to study. Thanks to microgravity for nature and living things. Thus, CNES plays a major role in the scientific missions of the European Space Agency (ESA) and other international partners such as NASA. [l’agence spatiale américaine],
To do this, the university relies on a vast network of laboratories – along with the National Center for Scientific Research and the Atomic Energy Commission – and industrial companies. This ecosystem has produced the legend of the French space. This was recently recognized on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of CNES by the Prime Minister, Jean Casteaux, reaffirming the historic collaboration. “One of CNES’s great originalities among research laboratories and industries” And “one of its main strengths”,
So as the new minister responsible for CNES, on 6 December Bruno Le Maire gave a speech specifying his vision of French space strategy. This vision appears to oppose scientific research in space and new commercial applications of space. For that, the priority of the French space program should now be“Industrial Adventure”, he should join “The World of Competition and Financing”,
Of course, we can only hope that our economy will benefit from French expertise in space. France must take its place in the “new place” [terme qui désigne l’irruption d’acteurs privés spécialisés dans le domaine spatial], not only by relying on its existing operators but by supporting the “young shoots” who will eventually be able to conquer the region’s emerging markets. In the future, science and exploration will also benefit from these new players.
However, if the state turns its back on space research on the pretext of promoting industrial innovation, the project will not be successful for long. In fact, research has always been the main engine of innovation in space, beyond the knowledge and services it provides. It is at the core of most of the applications we benefit from today: meteorological and oceanographic forecasting, position systems, Earth monitoring, resource monitoring, risk and pollution management, climate change, and more.
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