Science

Space: France announces ‘major’ investment of 9 billion euros over three years

The Prime Minister stated this at the International Astronautical Congress on Sunday.

France is preparing to invest more than 9 billion euros in the space sector over the next three years, a package that includes many of the loans already approved, Elisabeth Born announced on Sunday at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Paris. “In total, France is preparing to invest more than 9 billion euros in the space sector over the next three years, for research and our space industry,” the Prime Minister said at the opening of the IAC, which brings together several thousand representatives of the global space community until Thursday.

These “large” investments are part of the space strategy outlined by President Emmanuel Macron last February, she stressed. “The first strategy is to maintain, together with Europe, our autonomy in access to space,” and for this “we need strong funds and advanced research,” said Elizabeth Bourne, detailing the ambitions for launch vehicles (Ariane 6) , industrial competitiveness, research, climate and defense.

The 9 billion euro package includes loans for the space component of France’s investment plan until 2030 (1.5 billion euros), for the trajectory of the law on research programming until 2030, “massive” funds for Cnes (National Center for Space Studies), as well as the law on military programming for 2019-2025 (5 billion euros). Also included is France’s next contribution to the budget of the European Space Agency, which will be voted on at a ministerial conference in November in Paris. On this occasion, the exact budget of France will be discussed, Matignon was told.

ESA intends to ask its 22 member states for about 18 billion euros to fund its programs over the next three years. “It’s very important to give such a global basis,” Jean-Marc Astorg, director of strategy for Cnes, told AFP. The envelope handed over by the executive “will enable the entire space ecosystem – Cnes, the space industry and the scientific community – to find the most efficient way to allocate loans by the end of the year,” he congratulated himself.

After her speech to thousands of delegates, the Prime Minister went to meet with officials from Cnes (National Center for Space Research), the host of the IAC, as well as French astronaut Thomas Pescet.

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