The Gifas, a grouping of French aeronautics and space industries, a large exporting sector, fear that tourism in space eclipses the daily uses of satellites and their role in monitoring global warming.

We talk a lot about the rockets of Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos, the trips that billionaires take in space for fun, and all this is starting to worry French manufacturers who work in this sector …

For them, space tourism is the very small end of the telescope and they would like us to widen the focal length, to retain the image of a Thomas Pesquet, who goes into space for reasons scientists, or those of the satellites that guide us, more than those of billionaires who burn CO2.

They are especially afraid that their sector will be perceived as a polluting activity and not that useful. The Grouping of French aeronautical and space industries (Gifas) therefore commissioned a survey from Ifop to find out what it really is.

The result is actually quite good, but only 14% of respondents have a “very good image” of space, 62% have a “fairly good” image, but the majority of French people think that it does not play an important role. in their daily life.

While it is rather the opposite ...

Yes. Without space, no satellites and no satellite, no more GPS… I should say no more Galileo. GPS is the American system. Galileo is the European system for which two satellites were launched again on Saturday evening from Kourou.

To geolocate, our phones or cars look for the best signal, and it is most often Galileo which guides us. This is an area where we can say that Europe is sovereign and does not depend on the United States.

The other important program is Copernicus, a constellation of satellites which monitor the earth, the climate, the droughts, the rising waters. Half of the weather parameters come from space. Satellite data also allows farmers to better dose their fertilizers or irrigation.

60% of the satellites launched worldwide have a French prime contractor, either Thales Alenia, Franco-Italian, or Airbus. In France, nearly 18,000 people work in this highly exporting sector.

We watch the earth better, okay, but debris in space, is it all the same pollution?

And that worries Franck Poirrier, who coordinates our space companies. French operators are obliged by law to “desorb” their old satellites. They must provide fuel to bring them back to the atmosphere where they disintegrate.

But most other countries don't have laws. However, the number of satellites in low orbit for the Internet is constantly increasing. There will be 100,000 by 2029, including 70,000 for the constellation of Elon Musk alone. And what about the firing tests of anti-satellite missiles that put debris into orbit. Russia made it another one in mid-November. Clutter is becoming a real problem. New global regulations are needed.