CNES at SATELLITE 2017, Connecting and observing to invent the future of space

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CNES participated to SATELLITE 2017 held in Washington D.C. from 6 to 9 March. Every year, this event is a focus for the world’s space industry. CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall took part in the Satellite Executive of the Year Winners Circle panel discussion on ‘Visions of the Future Satellite Industry: Business Beyond SATELLITE 2017’.

As the laureate of Via Satellite magazine’s Satellite Executive of the Year 2005 award when he was in charge of Arianespace, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall was invited to take part in the Satellite Executive of the Year Winners Circle panel discussion on ‘Visions of the Future Satellite Industry: Business Beyond SATELLITE 2017’.

He began by looking back at how far space has come in the last 60 years, symbolized for him by the Soyuz launcher that began operating from the Soviet Union in 1957 by launching Sputnik, the first artificial satellite to orbit the Earth, and is today operated from the Guiana Space Centre, one of CNES’s four centers of excellence.

Jean-Yves Le Gall then underlined the key role of satellites in creating planetary intelligence, as the only means of meeting the present-day challenge of connecting and observing Earth. Because only satellites can bring Internet connectivity to all and support global monitoring of the planet to keep track of climate change.

He then turned his attention to ways of fostering the space sector’s development, firstly through public-private partnerships to meet burgeoning demand for tens and even hundreds of satellites, Europe having demonstrated in the field of launch services and space telecommunications how such partnerships could succeed; secondly, through innovation and entrepreneurship, illustrated by CNES and ESA, who are supporting emerging entrepreneurial companies and start-ups and helping them to take risks; and thirdly, through international cooperation, pointing to the successes made possible by European efforts that have enabled programmes like Ariane, Galileo and Copernicus to flourish, and to CNES’s international relations policy.

CNES’s President concluded by affirming that space has never been more important for humankind and welcomed the arrival of new players from emerging nations and NewSpace. By forging ties with these players, CNES is today inventing the future of space.