France announces a “major” investment of 9 billion euros over three years

France is preparing to invest more than 9 billion euros in the space sector over the next three years, an envelope which includes many of the credits already voted, announced Sunday Elisabeth Borne 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”, declared the Prime Minister at the opening of the IAC, which until Thursday brings together several thousand representatives of the world space community.

These “major” investments are part of the space strategy defined by President Emmanuel Macron last February, she underlined.

“The first strategy is to keep with Europe our autonomy of access to space” and for that “we need strong resources and cutting-edge research”, pleaded Elisabeth Borne, detailing the ambitions for launchers (Ariane 6), industrial competitiveness, exploration, climate and defence.

Ambition

The envelope of 9 billion euros includes the credits of the space component of the France 2030 investment plan (1.5 billion euros), those of the trajectory of the law of programming for research voted until 2030, the “massive” means for the Cnes (National Center for Space Studies) as well as those of the military programming law 2019-2025 (5 billion euros).

Also included is the next French contribution to the budget of the European Space Agency (ESA), which will be voted on at the ministerial conference in November in Paris. The exact budget of France will be determined on this occasion, it was specified to Matignon.

The ESA intends to ask its 22 Member States about 18 billion euros to finance its programs over the next three years.

The president of Cnes, Philippe Baptiste, hailed a “real ambition of the State for space which is materialized by this trajectory” quantified. “It’s an ambitious envelope, with almost 25% additional investment compared to the last three years,” he told AFP.

The envelope given by the executive will “allow the entire space ecosystem – Cnes, the space industry and the scientific community – to find the most effective way to commit credits by the end of the year”, according to Jean-Marc Astorg, director of strategy for the French space agency.

After her speech to thousands of delegates, the Prime Minister went to meet officials from Cnes, host of the IAC, as well as French astronaut Thomas Pesquet.

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