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France in Space #333

Status Report From: Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES)
Posted: Thursday, April 6, 2006

** 1: ALCATEL AND LUCENT UNITE TO FORM WORLD'S 2ND LARGEST TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPANY

It was decided April 2nd that Alcatel SA, of France, will acquire the U.S.-based Lucent Technologies Inc., to form the world's second largest telecommunications company. The new company, which will be named at a later date, will have the broadest wireless, wireline and services portfolio in the industry. The combined company is expecting revenues of approximately $25 billion (based on calendar 2005 sales) divided equally between North America, Europe and the rest of the world. The merger will also augment the company's R&D capabilities, as it will now be the industry leader in this domain, with 26,100 R&D engineers and scientists throughout the world and control of Lucent Technology's Bell Labs. This is in line with the logic and strategy of the merger: to first grow in order to later invest even more in R&D. In terms of management, Serge Tchuruk will step down as Chairman and CEO of Alcatel and will become non-executive chairman of the combined company. Patricia Russo, current Chairman and CEO of Lucent, will assume the role of CEO of the new company. The executive committee will be composed of six members, of which four will be from Alcatel and two from Lucent. The company will be headquartered in Paris, France. [Alcatel 04/02/06; La Tribune 04/03/06]

** 2: THALES SEALS DEAL TO ACQUIRE ALCATEL'S SATELLITE AND SECURITY OPERATIONS

Thales, the French electronics and defense company, announced today that it will move forward with the acquisition of Alcatel's satellite and security operations. In the deal, Alcatel will gain a greater stake in Thales, with a 21.6% share; the French government will see its stake reduced to 27.1% from 31%, it remains however the majority shareholder. According to the terms of the deal, Thales will pay 26.67 million shares and 673 million euros in cash to Alcatel upon closing of the transaction. Thales expects that the purchase will increase its revenue by more than 2 billion euros a year. The workforce will now represent roughly 11,000 people, based mainly in France, Germany, Italy and Canada. The merger is still subject to the approval of Alcatel's Board of directors within the framework of the merger with Lucent Technologies Inc, as well as the approval of its partner in satellite activities Finmeccanica. [Alcatel 04/05/06, http://www. washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/05/AR2006040500562.html 04/05/06]

** 3: EADS SPACE SERVICES PURCHASES 49% STAKE IN LONDON SATELLITE EXCHANGE

EADS SPACE Services has struck a deal with London Satellite Exchange to purchase a 49% stake in the company. The agreement reinforces EADS Space Services' strategy of providing satellite capacity and services, including non-military capacity, to government customers. EADS will be a minority shareholder of London Satellite Exchange, allowing the latter to keep its independence, however EADS still has an option to buy the entire company. For London Satellite Exchange, EADS' participation provides secure financial backing which will allow it to take on larger and more-risky clients that are buying or selling satellite capacity. The company sells capacity from many of the world's satellite fleet operators, offering short-term contracts or multi-year leases. Demand for this type of service is expected to grow over the next few years as the market expands with developments of UAVs and aircraft communications. [EADS 04/03/06; Space News 04/03/06]

** 4: ESA SUCCESSFULLY TESTS ATV TO ISS LINK

ESA announced March 27th that they had successfully simulated a communications link between the International Space Station and Europe's future Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) unmanned cargo carrier. Ground stations in Spain played the role of the ATV. The Station, passing three times over the Spanish stations, tilted itself 90 degrees so that its ATV communications antennas, which are installed on the Russian Zvezda module, pointed directly towards Earth. The gear being tested in called the Proximity Communications Equipment (PCE) which transmits and receives ATV location data through two antennas on the Station's exterior. Initial tests in June 2005 were not conclusive but the most recent tests have been successful and allowed for a total of 40 minutes of communication during the three overflights. A third test is scheduled for 2007 before the ATV makes its first flight to the Station in May 2007. [Space News 04/03/06]

** 5: ALCATEL ALENIA SPACE AWARDED CONTRACT FOR GLOBALSTAR'S SATELLITE CONSTELLATION

Globalstar recently attributed a study contract for the design of a new satellite constellation to Alcatel Alenia Space. The future constellation could replace Globalstar's first generation satellites. According to the terms of the contract, Alcatel Alenia Space will examine a new constellation architecture based on low-earth orbit (LEO) satellites with an extended life span. Globalstar's current LEO constellation provides telecommunications coverage to over 120 countries around the globe and delivers clear communication signals without delays due to the relative proximity of the satellites in the constellation. Alcatel Alenia Space participated in the design of the original system and also supplied the satellite payloads, structures, heat control elements, as well as satellite integration. [Alcatel 04/04/06]

** 6: EADS ASTRIUM AND IXSPACE SIGN 3 MILLION EURO CONTRACT

IXSPACE, a subsidiary of IXSEA, has signed a 3 million euro contract with EADS Astrium for the delivery of Fiber Optic Gyroscope (FOG) mono-axes for space applications. IXSEA, a leader in FOG technology, supplies FOG mono-axes suited for numerous space applications such as telecommunications, scientific, GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) and Earth observation satellites. The technology is the result of 10 years of study, development and testing during which IXSEA worked in collaboration with EADS Astrium and received funding from both CNES and ESA. The FOG mono-axes delivered to EADS Astrium will be used on EADS spacecraft, or sold by the company to other satellite manufacturers. Notably, the FOG will be used on board spacecraft such as the Pleiades (France), Planck (Europe) and Galileo. [http://www.spacemart.com/reports/IXSEA_Announces _3_Million_Euro_Space_Deal.html 03/29/06]

** 7: IN BRIEF

The scientific data from Europe's Smart-1 lunar-orbiter mission should be available in the coming weeks, pending validation by ESA. Additional data will be posted on ESA's Smart-1 website. The spacecraft should continue sending data until it crashes on the surface of the Moon in August 2006. The data should have been released in March however the process was slowed due to financial constraints that forced the same teams to handle both mission operations and data analysis. [Space News 04/03/06]

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France In Space is a weekly synthesis of French space activities based on French press. Its content does not reflect an official position of the French Government or CNES. It is provided by the CNES office and the Office of Science and Technology of the French Embassy in Washington D.C Editors: Jean-Jacques Tortora, Clémence Le Fèvre, Noëlle Miliard

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About CNES

"CNES develops and leads national space programmes. The main thrust of its action is to serve France's ambition to sustain a strong space capability and contribute to scientific discovery at the highest levels. CNES is committed to fostering innovative space technologies that meet the current and future needs of society. Most programmes are pursued in cooperation with international partners. CNES also plays a central role in programmes initiated by ESA, the European Space Agency, to which it is a major contributor. It is thus a driving force behind ESA programmes and activities".

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