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

Space Situational Awareness news from the Paris Airshow

With the new French space policy to be announced in a few months, and likely including a heavy Space Situational Awareness (SSA) emphasis, a few companies were presenting their solutions at the 2019 Paris Airshow: Sodern is working with cubesat builder Hemeria and electronics expert CS on Hirondelles, a constellation of cubesats to do satellite-to-satellite… Continue reading Space Situational Awareness news from the Paris Airshow

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

Pleiades NEO, the Airbus Very High Resolution constellation

Airbus will launch two pairs of optical satellites, one in 2020 and one in 2021, to form a constellation with two orbital planes enabling two revisits per day. The satellites will have a 30cm resolution, a 14km swath, and orbit at 620km altitude. They will leverage the EDRS data relay satellites for ultra-fast tasking and… Continue reading Pleiades NEO, the Airbus Very High Resolution constellation