France debates its near-space policy

To start off 2023, the Chief of Staff of the French Air Force organized a colloquium on Very High Altitude Operations, meaning operations between conventional airplane altitudes, under 20km, and "orbital space" above 100km. It featured Air Force officials, but also the companies and research institutes involved in developing platforms able to fly at these… Continue reading France debates its near-space policy

ASTERX 22: France’s annual military space exercise

While Russia started invading Ukraine, French Space Command was holding its annual exercise, called ASTERX 22. The ministry of armed forces then gave a presentation to the press about the command and the exercise. Background on French military space policy The presentation started with an introduction of French military space. To readers of this site,… Continue reading ASTERX 22: France’s annual military space exercise

History of the French reconnaissance system

France currently has a vigorous earth observation industry, which captures a large part of the export market for reconnaissance satellites. It has not always been this way: contrary to the USA or the USSR, France has never had film-return optical satellites, and orbited its own space reconnaissance systems roughly 30 years later than them. In… Continue reading History of the French reconnaissance system