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Embassy Celebrates Space Industry Day

Embassy Celebrates Space Industry Day

Published on January 10, 2014
Conference Gathers French, U.S. Leaders in Space Policy - Speech by Ambassador of France, François Delattre

Distinguished guests,

Dear friends,

It’s a great pleasure and privilege for our Space Attaché Philippe Hazane and for me to welcome you all this afternoon to the French Embassy for this Space Industry Day, as many space sector leaders are in orbit around Washington for the summit organized by the State Department – The International Space Exploration Forum.

Before losing myself in the stars, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your families from the bottom of my heart happiness and success in your personal and professional projects in 2014.

I would like to extend a warm word of welcome to the representatives of the space agencies of Asia, Europe, America; representatives of the European States and the EU; representatives of the Department of State, Defense and Commerce; representatives of Congress and to all of you, astronauts, actors and enthusiasts of the space community – enthusiasts to whom I clearly belong.

L to R: Ambassador François Delattre, NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden, Mary E. Kicza Assistant Administrator for Satellite and Information Services at NOAA, Jean-Yves Le Gall President of CNES

I would like to thank President Le Gall, the head of the French Space Agency CNES, for being here with us at the start of the year to present France’s space policy, which is fully in line with the European space policy. This space policy is set out in the road map known as “Ambition 2020,” which Mr. Le Gall will explain to us in just a moment.

This road map will allow France to continue to be the European leader in the space sector. Indeed, by creating the French space agency CNES in 1961, General De Gaulle wanted to provide France with independent access to space; but he also wanted the French space industry to acquire expertise in all fields of space in general and in the design and development of artificial satellites in particular.

Half a century later France therefore became the third leading space power after the USA and Russia. Today, this leading role is dedicated to the service of Europe, alongside all our EU partners and the European Space Agency, ESA.

Historically, transatlantic cooperation has been a permanent feature of French and European space policy. For more than 50 years, French-American cooperation has encompassed a broad range of areas, notably earth observation and space sciences.

Many of the achievements in space over the last 50 years would not have been possible without international cooperation.

I hope this cooperation can continue in other areas, particularly with respect to access to space. An ever increasing number of nations are becoming involved in the occupation and conquest of space, the main impact of which is a great deal of debris around our planet.

I hope that this cooperation will take up the challenge of managing the space environment.

Lastly, I hope that this event will provide an opportunity for all of us to get to know each other in order to develop the necessary synergies to ensure the operational back-up of our systems without increasing investment costs. In other words, we have to be able to share access to our systems.

French and European industry play a major role in the international space market. Airbus Group, Thalès and Safran serve as benchmarks with respect to the development of space systems. Due to its dominant position on the commercial launch market, Arianespace, is a major partner of operators in the American space sector.

I hope that transatlantic cooperation can develop in all areas of space policy, which does not preclude of course healthy competition at the industrial level.

I wish you a fruitful conference and hope to meet with you later in order to share the traditional galette des rois.

Thank you.

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