Philip Baptist takes over the CNES presidency in a world shook by Elon Musk

Philip Baptist takes over the CNES presidency in a world shook by Elon Musk

Philip Baptiste was appointed president of the National Center for Space Studies (CNES) on April 14 in the Cabinet, and he didn’t have time to give his office a personal touch. However, a beautiful welcome gift awaits him, with the departure of Thomas Pesquet to the International Space Station (ISS), scheduled for Friday April 23, which symbolically highlights French space. Even if he came from the digital world and saw above all else the future of space in applications derived from satellite data, this 49-year-old computer engineer easily understands that human spaceflight “Beyond the invasion of space. Moreover, there is currently a renewed interest in having a man on the moon with the US Artemis program, with a trip to Mars as the backdrop.”

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The new CNES president insists on the experience and knowledge of France and Europe, with the European Space Agency (ESA), and has no doubt that they will participate in the adventure. To Thomas Pesquet, Continue, This second flight and the fact that he will be the captain of the International Space Station there, all of this makes him good for a future lunar mission and we will be there to help him in this great endeavor. “

The person who was Chief of Staff to Minister of Higher Education and Research Frederick Vidal, from 2017 to 2019, and one of the initiators of the Parcoursup platform, realizes that he is taking office at a time when the space scientist is going through deep turmoil. And this with the active push of “New Space” representatives, these private companies have recently arrived in the sector and led to changing laws and costs.

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“Invest heavily”

The most famous of them is American SpaceX, Elon Musk, who guarantees Thomas Pesquet’s transport to the International Space Station using a Falcon-9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule – both of which are reusable. While Philip Baptiste recalls that SpaceX has benefited from technologies and significant funding from NASA, he admits this.“We should be inspired by his bets, successes and failures, from the fact that Elon Musk has been able to integrate the space innovations and agile technologies that come from the world of the low-cost digital industry.”

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‘Preparing for the future’Thus, this is the road map that the new leader has laid for himself in the context of these great upheavals. “The sector has a major economic impact, with a significant impact of financial leverage, and the spatial share in the GDP will explode,” pridect. All the great powers are investing heavily in space: the United States does and China is devoting itself to it at least as much as it dedicates itself to Europe. So we Europeans need to think about our spatial ambition. We have incredible historical successes, like Ariane, our champion, Thales Alenia Space and Airbus, whose telecommunications satellites account for 60% of the global market and Europe is a leader in Earth observation. ”

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