Status Report

France in Space #282

By SpaceRef Editor
February 5, 2005
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Alcatel and Finmeccanica signed January 28, 2005 the final agreement to merge their satellite industrial and service activities, through the creation of two joint-venture companies. First, Alcatel Alenia Space, hold 67% by Alcatel and 33 % by Finmeccanica, will concentrate on the design, development and manufacturing of satellites, payloads, instruments and associated ground segments. The estimated 2004 sales of this new company, whose headquarters will be located in France, are worth 1.8 billion euros. Second, Telespazio, hold 67% by Finmeccanica and 33 % by Alcatel, will provide satellite services and operations including control and operation of space systems. Its headquarters will be located in Italy. Some necessary approvals by regulatory authorities are still expected in 2005 to complete the merger. [Alcatel 01/28/2005]


With guidance from the NASA draft request for proposals (RFP) now in hands, Lockheed Martin announced that it is teaming with several industrialists, including the European EADS Space Transportation for the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) development contract. Under this team, EADS would specifically play an important role in development of a CEV autonomous docking system and a long-duration manned lunar module, said Cleon Lacefield, Lockheed Martin vice president and CEV program manager. EADS Space Transportation has acquired experience in automated space vehicles as well as rendez-vous and docking operations, especially through the development of the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV). [Aviation Week & Space Technology 01/30/2005]


The European Space Agency has announced a 2.9 billion euros (about 3.8 billion dollars) budget for 2005. The 10 percent budget increase as compared to 2004 will especially support continued investment in launch vehicles, which remain the largest expenditure. Launchers are taking up 22 percent of the 2005 budget followed by human space flight programs, Earth Observation and space science. The three largest contributors to ESA Budget are France (29.3%), Germany (22.7%) and Italy (14.2%). The agency’s first priority is the broad Earth Observation program called Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES), to be run jointly with the European Commission. The other main issues are space exploration, technology development and telecommunications. [Air & Cosmos 01/28/2005, Space News 01/31/2005]


The international Earth Observation Summit on February 16, 2005 in Brussels is aimed at laying the foundations for a Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) through the approval of a ten-Year Implementation Plan. The primary European contribution to the GEOSS is the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative. Jointly led by the European Commission and ESA this initiative will bring together the capacity of Europe to collect and manage data and information for both environment and civil security purposes. European countries are already in a position to bring space capabilities to GMES: ESA through the satellites Envisat or ERS (European Remote Sensing), France with the current Spot 4, Spot 5 and Jason satellites as well as the future Pleiades constellation, Germany and Italy with both radar satellites, respectively TerraSAR and Cosmo/Skymed. January 6, the French Minister of Research, François d’Aubert, announced that some measures will be suggested to accelerate space projects dedicated to natural disasters warning. Finally, ESA will define an implementation plan for GMES by the end of the year. [Air & Cosmos 01/28/2005, ESA 02/01/2005]


The space field represents 10 000 jobs in the French Midi-Pyrénées region, including 6500 in industrial companies and 2400 within CNES and its subsidiaries. The region plays thus a key role in space industry which has still to be strengthened. The CNES centre of Toulouse has organised in January a workshop aimed at working out a strategy to improve the region’s attractiveness and ensure its economic growth. The adopted strategy will be mainly based on the following points: developing the sector of boarded systems, establishing closer bounds between space research and industry, organizing space students’ projects, increasing the number of foreigners, and implementing several measures to facilitate access of new entities to space markets. Among others objectives, one is to install in Toulouse a technical centre dedicated to satellite navigation activities and the Galileo concession. [Air & Cosmos 01/28/2005]

** 6: IN BRIEF

Alcatel signed a 150 million dollar contract with the Brazilian operator Star One, to build the Star One C2 satellite. Star One is the satellite subsidiary of Embratel, the largest satellite solutions company in Latin America. The satellite will be integrated at Alcatel Space’s Cannes and Toulouse plants and will be delivered in two years. [Alcatel 01/26/2005] The French laboratory CESR (Centre d’études spatiales des rayonnements), specialized in space radiation, will provide a high-energy X-ray spectrometer for the Indian lunar probe Chandrayaan, whose launch is planned in 2007. [Ciel & Espace February 2005]

France in Space will not be published next week. The next issue will be published January 16.


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

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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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