Gifas, which represents the interests of the aerospace industry in France, recently commissioned a survey on the image of the space sector. A good idea ! Because using space wisely is a challenge for civilization. This issue is tainted by tourism, militarization, and rampant marketing projects.
Ifop’s survey returns mixed results, proving its validity. 76% of those surveyed have a good image of the space. But 57% mistakenly believe that space activities play little or no role in their daily lives.
84% know what road geolocation owes to the space industry … but 70% have never heard of Copernicus. If you think about the decisive contribution of this Earth observation program in terms of knowledge about climate, agriculture, oceans and industry (non-exhaustive list), the European Space Agency has to work in communication.
ESA and the other major players in space must therefore take charge and convey their messages to the general public more effectively. In the store of a large French planetarium, the offered t-shirts bear the logo of … NASA.
This work has begun. For the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope in Kourou, ESA gives priority to the places reserved for journalists for the general media, as opposed to the specialized press. The latter may be legitimately upset, but this choice will hopefully pay off.
The media must also question themselves. The simplifying forms of many of them suggest that Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are ahead of an era and that Europe, and with it Ariadne, has passed.
Therefore, we must make things clear. Falcon 9 launchers are only semi-reusable. Its economic relevance has yet to be proven, SpaceX has not released figures.
Instead of wasting time broadcasting insane Martian colonization plans, it’s feasible to talk about science and technology.
During a conference held after his first assignment, Thomas Pesquet met with bioMérieux employees about an experiment designed by the company. The conference was open to journalists and the astronaut’s explanations were very clear. Therefore, we are not obliged to limit ourselves to daily life aboard the ISS to engage the reader, listener or viewer.
Is space expensive? Once and for all, yes … but less than football. As evidence, the budget for the Rosetta mission, which allowed Europa to land on a distant asteroid, represented less than three years of PSG operation.
About Europe: In Turin, at Thales Alenia Space, we manufacture pressurized space station modules (plural), a Martian rover capable of finding traces of life, and a satellite telescope to map dark matter. We have our champions and we definitely don’t know enough about it.
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